Oakville hockey’s fantastic postseason run comes to an end at Enterprise Center

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Davin Smith Photo

Captain Joe Pybas (12) takes a picture with St. Louis Blues legend Bobby Plager and Dianne Wickenhieser as he accepts the runner-up plaque at Enterprise Center on March 11.

The Oakville Tiger Hockey club came within one win of a perfect postseason run.

On Wednesday, March 11, the Oakville hockey team fell short against Duchesne, losing 3-1 at Enterprise Center in the Wickenheiser Cup final. Despite the final score, the Tigers dominated the offensive zone for much of the game, hitting the post three times.

“Tonight they learned that life’s not fair,” said head coach Phil Jacquot. “But at the end they have a lot to be proud of. They never gave up and that’s what they can take away, never give up.”

Duchesne started the scoring 9:45 into the first frame, being the only goal the crowd would see until the third, despite shots on goal being 11-6 in favor of Oakville. The second period went scoreless with the shots still in favor of OHS, 15-14, sending the Tigers into the third with a one-goal deficit.

Justin Skaggs (12) stepped up to tie the score at 1-1 five minutes into the third by knocking in the rebound off Jack Huffman’s (12) shot. Zach Daniels (12) also assisted on the play.

“It was really exciting to be a part of that last goal,” said Huffman. “I didn’t really know what to feel.”

However, as the time started to wind down in the third, Duchesne recorded a power play goal with 1:40 left in the game, and another with 10 second left on an empty net, making the final score 3-1 and sending OHS home with a heartbreaking result. 

Even though the final game did not go as intended, the players and the coaches took a lot away from the season.

“It showed a lot of heart for how much we came through at the end of the year,” said captain Joe Pybas (12). “It meant a lot on how close we all got, and how we all had each other’s backs. ”

“I’ve  learned a lot (coaching this team), ” said Jacqout. “I can’t thank them enough for sticking with me, and working as hard as they have.”

Despite the loss in the final, nothing can take away from the historic postseason run. The team went undefeated for seven straight playoff games, swept the first round, swept the semi finals, recorded their longest winning streak (seven) of the season during the playoffs, played on the home ice of the St. Louis Blues for the first time in ten years, and turned their shakey 4-15-2 record to a respectable 11-16-2. Sounds like a pretty fantastic postseason. 

“We’ve had a rough (regular) season” said Jacquot. “But they never gave up and as the coach I’m beyond proud of them.”

 

Parker Philips (12), Eddie Murphy (12) and Andrew Carter (12)

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Elma Sumic Photo