Unbelievable victory for VeesMarch 2 2012 at 6:10 PM
Wayne Lewis (Login wayjoy)
By Mike Koreen the Whig Standard
If you didn't believe in the Kingston Kimco Voyageurs before, you do now.
This, folks, is one heck of a hockey team and one fantastic story.
The Cinderella Vees, all but written off after a horrible end to a disappointing regular season, are going to the Ontario Junior Hockey League's East Division final after one of the most dramatic victories in recent Kingston hockey history.
Brett du Puy's slapper deflected off somebody it appeared to be a Trenton defenceman and trickled past Golden Hawks goalie Spencer Finney to give the Vees a series-clinching 5-4 overtime win at a loud-as-could-be Invista Centre on Thursday night.
It was a rolling puck and I just wanted to get it there and hope for the best, du Puy said over pumping music in the Vees dressing room after Kingston completed a stunning 4-2 series victory.
It doesn't matter how it went in, it doesn't matter who it went (in off of), it just had to get there. It was an unbelievable rush of emotions (when the puck went in).
The goal, 9:10 into overtime, sent an overflow crowd announced at 1,378 into hysterics as the Vees finished off their second straight major playoff upset they beat the defending champion Wellington Dukes in the opening round
The sixth-place Vees finished 30 points behind the first-place Golden Hawks and didn't win any of their six games against Trenton this season. But riding the sensational goaltending of Charlie Finn, the Vees fended off the powerful Golden Hawks even after Trenton tied Game 6 with a stinging goal by Shawn Hulshof with just 35 seconds left in regulation.
On the way to the rink, I was just wondering if we had any more magic left, said Vees rookie coach Colin Birkas, who blamed himself for the tying goal, saying he didn't have the right players on the ice.
It's not very often you see a team that finished 30 points behind another win a playoff series. It's not very common, but this is not a very common team. The character in this room is off the charts.
The Vees, after blowing two one-goal leads in a Game 5 loss in Trenton, actually coughed up four one-goal edges in Game 6. But just like in Game 2 when they gave up a late tying goal in regulation, the Vees responded in overtime, putting the heartbreak behind them. It was Kingston's third overtime win of the series. Their other victory was a tremendously tense 2-1 triumph.
Unbelievable, I'm speechless, said hard-working Vees forward Brandon O'Quinn, a former Hawk deemed expendable by Trenton earlier this season.
It's not very often a sixth-place team beats a first-place team that let you go. This is a dream come true for me. ...The emotion is through the roof.
O'Quinn was quick to credit the spectacular Finn, who was outstanding yet again.
We're just amazed at some of the stops he makes, O'Quinn said. He shocks us all.
The Golden Hawks' tying goal came 25 seconds after coach Jerome Dupont called timeout with a faceoff in the Vees zone. Josh Sidwell won the draw against Casey Cook and the Vees never got it out.
Hulshof was wide open in front of the crease and put a pass from Sidwell up high over an absolutely helpless Finn. Birkas said he put three centres out, which he called a rookie mistake. He lamented not putting tough winger O'Quinn on the ice to try to grind it out.
(Birkas) just told us we had nothing to lose (in overtime), Vees star forward Steve McParland said. He said if we lose, there's still another game.
It seemed to loosen things up as the Hawks were on their heels for most of overtime. After several good chances, the puck squirted out to du Puy, who did what Birkas asked after Game 5 put it on net and see what happens.
It felt just great, McParland said. I was on the bench and I was just thinking 'is that puck really in the the net.'
Indeed, it was and, because of that, this Vees team moves on and keeps this wild ride alive.
This is a lot of fun, Birkas said. I'm so proud of these kids.
All Kingston hockey fans should be. Bring on the Whitby Fury and call them the favourites these Vees wouldn't want it any other way.
Brian Nanne, O'Quinn, Junior Harris and Matt Eddy also scored for the Vees. Kent McPherson, Josh Sidwell and Chris Brown and Hulshof replied for the Hawks. ... Holy Cross student Nicole Borges, who has a great voice, sang the anthem for the second game in a row in Kingston. ... The 50-50 draw paid out a playoff-high $969 to Kingston's Ed Long. ... Former Vees defencemen Alex Pym and forward Eric Lalonde, now members of the Royal Military College Paladins, and Stephane Chabot, now a member of the Queen's Golden Gaels, attended the game. Chabot was wearing his old No. 27 Vees jersey and was in the dressing room after the game.
|This message has been edited by wayjoy on Mar 2, 2012 6:12 PM|
Re: Unbelievable victory for Vees
|March 2 2012, 6:42 PM |
Ottawa Sun is reporting that Mike Koreen is taking a job with them, he will be missed
Re: Unbelievable victory for Vees
|March 2 2012, 7:10 PM |
He sure will, goredwhiteandblue . I just love his sports' writing. But, like Tyler King, he's young and promotion comes with mobility.
|March 2 2012, 7:19 PM |
Congratulations to 'your' Vees Wayne.........hope to see you in the next series. But you know, I will be cheering for Whitby!!!!!!!
I know you will
|March 2 2012, 7:47 PM |
regardless of what happens, you are my friend.
We agree on Curtis Hodgins. He is a hell of a coach.
|March 3 2012, 7:03 PM |
You're right, he IS one hell of a coach. With all the turmoil he has been through the last couple of years, he deserves this. And there are a few ex-eagles playing on the Fury as well! I can't wait to cheer them on!!! I am wishing them all the best.
|March 3 2012, 7:06 PM |
I hope to see you at one of the games. It has been so long, I hope I remember what you look like!!!