PANTHERS OFF TO DIVISION FINAL

PORT HOPE, ON –¬†Some might call it an upset, but to the players and staff in the dressing room, it was always the plan.¬†Port Hope ended Amherstview’s season on Saturday night with a 4-1 victory. The best part. Getting to do it in front of the home town crowd.

Amherstview opened the scoring when a harmless shot missed the net and bounced back out front onto the stick of Wyatt Gregory who found the back of the net at 5:12. Port Hope continued to press and when Carter Chadwick fanned on a shot off the rush, it landed on the stick of Dylan Leslie who found Connor MacGregor open in front as he one-timed it past Robert. Shots at the end of the first period – Panthers 14, Jets 5.

Stepping back on the ice tied at one, Panthers needed to find a way to pull ahead and Dylan Leslie did just that when he stole a puck off a Jets defender’s stick in the offensive zone and despite his first shot being stopped, he was able to put in his own rebound and give Port Hope the lead. Back and forth play in the second had the Jets pushing for the tying goal but it would be Josh Sainthill who took the wind out of their sails when he found the back of the net with just 36 seconds remaining in the period. Panthers headed off the ice with a 3-1 lead.

A desperate Jets team returned to the ice for the third period but they were unable to contain the Panthers offence. Just over 2 minutes into the frame, MacGregor found the back of the net for his second of the night and third goal in two games. Despite outshooting the Panthers in the third period, Jets were unable to solve Brayden Friedrich who stopped 25 of 26 shots on the night.

With the win, Port Hope advances to the Tod Division Final for the second straight season and will faceoff against the Napanee Raiders who defeated the first place Frankford Huskies in their best of seven. The series kicks off Wednesday night in Port Hope. Puck Drop is set for 8:00 PM.