Red Wings take OPJHL Western Division title

They repelled the Raiders in four straight games, now can they tame the Tigers?

Hamilton’s thrilling 4-3 overtime win against Georgetown on Saturday (March 17) gave the Junior Red Wings the Ontario Provincial Junior A Hockey League’s Western Division crown and a semifinal berth in the league playoffs. Aurora Tigers will host the Wings on March 23 (Friday) with the second game in the best-of-seven series in Hamilton on Monday (March 26) at 7.30 p.m.

Hamilton forced Saturday’s game into overtime with 2.9 seconds left in regulation play. Wings, coach John McDonald opted to pull goalie Cam Talbot in favour of an extra skater and the strategy worked. Steve Mullin scored the equalizer that set stage for Mike Galbraith’s pennant winning goal at 3:13 of the extra period.

Kyle Jukosky had given Hamilton a 1-0 lead at 2:24 of the first period but only 44 seconds later Georgetown had the equalizer when Rob Sgarbossa scored.

Hamilton would take the lead back five minutes later when Frankie Grandits scored.

The teams skated through a scoreless second period before the Raiders netted two answered goals (Jeremy Whelan and Adam DeJong) and appeared headed for their first win after three straight losses.

But Mullen’s marker changed that.

Hamilton goalie Cam Talbot stopped 24 of the 27 shots he faced and Marc Stuart turned aside 23 shots.

A crowd of 800 watched the game. League Commissioner Bob Hooper presented captain Corey Stringer with the West Division Championship trophy