Advance to Round Two

The Spartans knocked off the South Muskoka Shield 6-2 last night on the road to win their opening round series over the Shield two games to none. The Spartans were a determined group last night and carried the play for a majority of the game, out shooting the Shield 58-30. Leading the way for the Spartans was Adam Morton with 2 G, 2A, Mathew Labrosse with 2G, 1A and Alexandre Gauthier with 3A. Erik Spath earned the victory in net with a 28 save performance. Also getting on the score sheet for the Spartans was Hannaford 2A, Austin 1G, Thorsen 1G, O’Flynn 1A, Sbop 1A, Bergman 1A and Whitehead 1A.

Three Stars of the Game
1st Adam Morton 2G, 2A
2nd Mathew Labrosse 2G, 1A
3rd Ryan Schirano (Shield) 52 Saves

Head Coach Myles Pepin had this to say about the game and the playoffs “I was really happy with our entire team tonight. We carried the play all night and really stuck to our systems. Friday night I felt we played well at times, but got away from our systems too much and it cost us. Tonight though the guys were really focused and closed out the series with a full 60 minute effort. It was great to win two straight over the Shield, after last years heart breaking 5 game series loss in a shootout. Going into this series we knew we needed to get back on track to playing the right way and to close the series out in two games so that we were fully prepared for our second round series. We are still waiting to see who our opponent is, but if the Rattlers win tonight it will confirm the North Division Semi Finals with Ville Marie facing Bradford and us squaring off against Temiscaming. As soon as we have series details we will be sure to let everyone know, but most likely we will be starting at home Friday night. I also just wanted to thank all of the Spartans fans that made the trip to Gravenhurst. To have close to 100 fans at a road game, that are way louder then the home teams crowd is pretty amazing. I know it means a lot to our players and we know it’s going to be a packed house this Friday.”

Second Round Playoff Dates will be announced Monday or Tuesday depending on the Rattlers/Lynx Series. The North Division Semi FInals is a best 3 out of 5.

#roadtotheruss #bestfans #teameffort


Award Winners for Spartans

The Almaguin Spartans organization is thrilled to announce that our players and staff received six award nominations yesterday from the GMHL. Three of those nominees won those awards. Spartans Captain and 4 year veteran defensemen Bryan Austin was nominated for the divisions top defensemen and player with the most heart. Spartans Assistant Captain and 4 year veteran centre Britton Whitehead was nominated for the top defensive forward. Spartans leading scorer and assistant captain Mathew Labrosse was nominated for top forward and most valuable player. Spartans head coach Myles Pepin was nominated for coach of the year for the second time in three years.

The Award Winners Are:

Bryan Austin “Top Defensemen”

Britton Whitehead “Top Defensive Forward”

Mathew Labrosse “Top Forward”

Spartans General Manager David Forde has this to say about the clubs incredible showing for the divisions top awards yesterday “All four of the individuals have done an incredible job representing our organization and were all very deserving of their nominations and awards. We always preach team first, but yesterday was a day to recognize these individual achievements. These guys have put in a lot of work and I know they are all honored to have won these awards, but they also know that without the work of their teammates and the teams success that this would not have been possible. I also hope that these awards assist these three young men in progressing to professional hockey next season.

This is also an incredible achievement for our local hockey community as Austin and Whitehead are both products of Almaguin Minor Hockey and have spent countless hours being coached by Myles Pepin, Gary Coalter and Jamey Sollman over the past 15 years. When we started to build this program five years ago, we really wanted to provide local players with a chance to develop and play junior hockey in the Almaguin area. We knew that with great coaching and a top level program that these kids could be successful, advance to the next level and would compete with the very best teams in this league. Well it’s four seasons later, two local players have just been recognized as the top players in the North Division, we are one win away from a regular season title and we are set to make a long playoff run. I know our entire organization and community would like to thank Bryan Austin and Britton Whitehead for the past four seasons. You guys have done a fantastic job representing our team and the community. Only one thing left to do guys, win 13 playoff games!!!”

#localjuniorhockey #almaguin #nextlevel


Back to Back Wins

Last night the Spartans hosted Northern Rivals the Temiscaming Titans. The Spartans were looking to remain in first place and take the season series win over the Titans. Heading into the game the Spartans held a 4-2-0 advantage in the season series.

The Spartans came out strong to open the game, but it would be the Titans who would strike first only six minutes in. Five minutes later the Titans would strike again to take a 2-0 lead. The Spartans would be forced to take a time out to settle things down. Despite out shooting the Titans 17-13 in the first, the Spartans entered the intermission down 2-0. The Spartans came out strong in the second and really controlled the play.

The Spartans were doing everything but putting the puck in the back of the net and unfortunately the Titans struck again with just over six minutes left in the period. Despite giving up a goal and trailing 3-0, the Spartans continued to push and were finally rewarded with 4:46 left in the second when Morton ripped a point shot bar down from Skortsov and Ausitn. Only 43 seconds later Circenis would bring the Spartans within in one, from Gauthier and Hannaford. Then with only a 1:29 left in the period Austin would tie the score at 3-3 from Gauthier.

The South River Machar Arena was rocking after this and it continued into the third period where both clubs did everything the could to get the go ahead goal. Neither club was able to score in regulation, so the game was off to overtime. Despite great chances both ways, neither club could end the game, so it was off to a shoot out!!! The Spartans would prevail in the shootout with Thorsen scoring for the Spartans on a beautiful move and Spath would shut the door, stopping all three Titans shooters.

The win improved the Spartans record to (30-9-0) on the season and ensures they remain in first place in the North Division.

Three Stars of the Game

1st Star Emile Goulet 58 Saves (Titans)
2nd Star Erik Spath 44 Saves
3rd Star Bryan Austin 1G, 1A

The Spartans are off for the rest of the weekend. Next week the Spartans travel to Ville Marie Thursday to take on the Pirates and host the West Nipissing Lynx Friday for the final regular season home game of the season.