Hornets wrap up successful season

April 26, 2017   ·   0 Comments

By Brian Lockhart
They ended the season with a North Conference championship title to add to their impressive team accomplishes over the past several years and now the Alliston Hornets will start building for the 2017/18 season.
“Our team really stepped it up in the series against the Stayner Siskins. Nixon (Mathew) in net, really played well for us. Our players knew what they had to do and every player played a role in that series,” said Hornets GM Rick Bartlett.
At the end of the season several players will be leaving the team. Four over-age players are on the top of that list every year.
“We’ll be losing at least seven players for sure,” Bartlett said. “We have over age players and others go off to school.”
The Hornets ended the regular season in second place with a 36-5-1 record.
The Alliston squad led the pack for most of the season before taking a couple of losses and being eclipsed by the Stayner Siskins who went on a steady run and finished in first place with 78 points.
After eliminating the Schomberg Cougars in five games in the quarter-final round of playoffs, the Hornets knocked out the Penetang Kings in five games in the next round to set up a final series with the Siskins for the Carruthers Division championship.
The big surprise came when the Hornets claimed the championship with a four game sweep that sent the first place Siskins packing without managing a single win in the final.
The win moved the Hornets into the North Conference championship against the Pollock Division champions – the Mount Forest Patriots.
After a couple of close games the Hornets blew the series wide open with an 8-1 win in game three.
The series ended with a 10-6 Alliston win in game five of the series on March 31.
Next up the Hornets met the Port Hope Panthers in the semi-final round of the Schmaltz Cup playoffs.
The series was a tough battle for both teams with two of the games going into overtime to decide a winner.
The series ended on April 14, with a 6-2 Alliston loss in game five.
“Our first thought all year long was we hope we can get healthy and give ourselves a fair shot and go out there and play to our best ability – we were plagued with injuries all year,” said Hornets head coach Darrin Shannon. “We wanted to work as hard as we can and give ourselves a chance to win. We knew they were a good team, we knew we were as well. It was a four game sweep, yes, but it wasn’t a four-game series of separation. They were close games and we happened to win all of them,” Shannon said of the series with Stayner.
Going into the series with Port Hope, Shannon said he knew they were facing a tough opponent.
“I’ve seen them play a couple of times. I knew they were a very good team. I watched them play twice in their previous series and I knew what we were getting in to. We had to play our best to beat them and they were a very good team and that’s exactly what they showed us.”
Shannon confirmed he won’t be returning to the head spot on the Hornets bench next season citing personal reasons.
The Hornets have now won nine league championships over the past ten years. They have won the Provincial Schmaltz cup twice – in 2008 and 2010 – and have been Schmaltz Cup finalist three times, going to the final in 2009, 2011 and 2012.

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