Clarington, Uxbridge to meet in Orr Division Junior ‘C’ final

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Published April 3, 2023 at 11:10 am

Photo PJHL

It will be an all-Durham Region affair in the PJHL’s Orr Division final when the Clarington Eagles meet the Uxbridge Bruins, with the series starting Thursday at Garnett Rickard Arena in Bowmanville.

The Eagles are now 8-0 after two rounds of the Jr. C playoffs after sweeping the Georgina Ice in four games and have outscored their opponents so far 21-4. The squad, which went all the way the Schmaltz Cup provincial final last year, also took home five of the nine year-end awards for the Orr Division, including MVP (Brady Darrach), Top Scorer (Dawson Manning) and Top Goalie (Jude Ondina).

The Bruins swept Port Perry in the opening round and battled hard to beat the Little Britain Merchants in six games in the semi-final to set up the duel-for-Durham with Clarington.

Josh Schmidt’s first goal of the playoffs – a short-handed goal to make the score 3-1 – was the backbreaker for Little Britain as Uxbridge won on the road 4-2.

Over in the OJHL Jr. A loop, defending league champion Pickering Panthers went out in round one, leaving the Durham Region focus on Toronto Jr. Canadiens goalie Chazz Nixon (Oshawa) and Trenton Golden Hawks sniper Matthew Cato (Whitby) in a South/East Conference semi-final that was chock-full of dramatics.

Trenton, led by Vermont University-bound Cato, who is the league’s top scorer through two rounds with ten goals and 18 points, roared to a 3-0 series lead but the cardiac kids Canadiens won three straight to tie it.

Nixon, who backed up all-star goalie James Norton through most of the playoffs, took over for Nixon in game three and was also in the cage for the Downsview squad’s game five win. Three of the last four games of the series went to overtime, with Toronto winning games four (Ben Waterschoot) and game six (Tyler Fukakura) to stay alive before Sam Williamson’s goal 1:38 into overtime in a thrilling game seven sent the Golden Hawks to the conference final.

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