New Hamburg Firebirds determination rewarded with a huge win


  • Sports   Thu, Apr 7th, 2022   Gord Mills
The New Hamburg Firebirds celebrate their series win against the Woodstock Navy Vets. (Photo credit: Billie Jo Mark)


The New Hamburg Firebirds celebrate their series win against the Woodstock Navy Vets. (Photo credit: Billie Jo Mark)


By Gord Mills
The best-of-seven series between the Firebirds and Navy Vets has been a closely contested battle, with game four being no different.
The Birds welcomed back their competitors to the nest for a rare Monday evening game. With a large fan base (520 fans) to cheer on the Firebirds, they went to work quickly. The race to be first on the scoreboard was notched by a Jake Thomson goal. At the midway mark of the first, the Firebirds sniped another goal from Antonio Pasqualino and assists to Kyle Kraemer and Cole Stannix.
At the start of the second period, Woodstock pushed back with a goal from Jonah Jacksteit to cut the scoreboard margin. The play was close, with both teams playing great. Nearing the end of the second period, Josh Vale regained the two-goal lead with a helper to Owen Bruder.
The third period was the goalie’s chance to seal the deal. Both Woodstock’s Keaghan Brett and New Hamburg’s Griffin Murphy held off the third period offensive charges. Griffin Murphy records the win for the Firebirds.
This tied up the series at 2-2. Final shots on goal New Hamburg 48 compared to Woodstock at 33.
The series shifted back down Highway 59 for a Friday night of hockey in Woodstock. The Woodstock arena had a large crowd with 1,150 fans in attendance.
The cat and mouse game started quickly, with neither side wanting to give up any edges. The first period was held to a 0-0 draw. In the second period, New Hamburg struck first with a goal from Adam Barr and helper to Antonio Pasqualino. Woodstock rallied back near the end of the second with a goal from Nolan Brett.
The third saw the power play get some work. New Hamburg struck on the power play with a goal from Nathan George and an assist to Owen Bruder. Woodstock again tied it up with a goal from Griffin Sinden. New Hamburg’s power play struck again with a goal from Matt Domm and was assisted by Lucas Carson and Josh Vale. It was Woodstock’s powerplay that got their chance and responded with a Griffin Sinden goal. This goal pushed the game to overtime (OT)!
In OT, the chances were exciting for both squads. At the 11:01 mark, Eric Touri scored to seal the win for the Navy Vets. This gave them the 3-2 series lead.
The Firebirds returned to the nest with one task: to save themselves from elimination in the series. Woodstock struck first to push them to an early lead with a Christian Pelley goal and provide the only scoring in the first period. With the opening of the second period, the Birds showed their determination. In the first minute of the period, Kyle Kraemer evened the score with an assist to Matt Domm. The play was back and forth, but the Firebirds found their way.
Near the mid-point of the second Zach Mark fired home a goal with assists to Owen Fischer and Lucas Carson to grab the lead. Much the same as the second period, the third started with a Firebird goal. Cedrik Roth pushed the lead with a helper to Adam Barr. Nearing the end of the third, the Birds went to work on the powerplay and notched another goal from Josh Vale and assists to Tyler Reid and Zach Mark.
The win evened the series at 3-3. Griffin Murphy registered the win for the Firebirds in the net. The final shots were New Hamburg at 44 compared to Woodstock’s 24.
Game seven was back in Woodstock with all the marbles on the line. From the start of the game, the Firebirds came out determined to prevail. The flow of the game was steady, and at the midway point of the first, New Hamburg’s Adam Barr slid home the first goal of the match with the assist to Owen Fischer.
The play from New Hamburg continued to stymy the Navy Vets. The Birds had to kill off a number of penalties. At the 7:29 mark of the second, Matt Domm chipped the puck past the Woodstock defender. He then went skating up the ice and maneuvered past another Woodstock player to feed Josh Vale, who buried the puck behind Woodstock’s goalie for a shorthanded goal.
In the third, Woodstock’s Lakin Hendry scored to cut the lead. With the time running down and the Navy Vet net empty, Josh Vale sealed it with an empty net goal. Griffin Murphy registered the win in the net and played amazing. The results on the final were of the series were New Hamburg at 4 and Woodstock at 3.
With a hard-fought series, all the Firebirds deserve a huge round of applause for the determination to battle back for the win against the Woodstock team, who finished first in regular season play.
With this series concluded, we now face the Tavistock Braves in the Doherty Division finals. More exciting hockey to come. Please stay tuned for the upcoming series schedule and come out to cheer on the Firebirds. Go Firebirds, go!