Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Vees for victory!

The same three words keep coming to mind, "They did it. They did it."

Others can fill in the details, but the Kingston has a championship hockey team in a league of some consequence for the first time since the days of seven-man hockey, pretty much. The Kingston Kimco Voyageurs beat the Oakville Blades 5-2 tonight on Jarrett Burton's hat trick to wrap up the Ontario Junior Hockey League final in six games. As so often happens in a deciding game, Kingston removed all doubts early, scoring four goals in the first nine minutes. Oakville got within two in the the third period before Burton got the sealer with 4:22 to play. The next step, as if winning five playoff rounds wasn't enough, is the Dudley Hewitt Cup in Schreiber (near Thunder Bay), the regional qualifier for the RBC Cup.

The story is best left to those who were there, such as Kinger, who had the call for TVCogeco, and to the hometown Whig-Standard. It's been far too long for a team from hockey's hub to play this deep into the spring, but the Vees' triumph is significant on its own, not just as a contrast to what their junior hockey neighbours at the downtown arena have done or not done over the past decade.

Full marks go to the Vees coach Evan Robinson, who knew in that dressing room there was a group destined to play the kind of hockey which had not been seen in a very long time in Kingston. Goalie Shawn Sirman, who's been a wall throughout the playoffs, kicked out 46 shots in the clincher, while Mike Farrell's goal exactly one minute after the opening faceoff helped start the onslaught.

Meantime, the coach of the other team, Doug Gilmour, told the FAN 590 yesterday that they will draft Ottawa-born centre Alan Quine with the No. 2 overall pick. (It was in The Whig and Ottawa Sun earlier today.) Who knows, maybe the Vees' good karma rubs off on the Frontenacs.

(This might be something to get into later: The OJHL, which has an ongoing tension between mostly Toronto-area teams and the ones outside the GTA, is realigning, so Kingston and Oakville will be in the same conference next season. Cobourg, Wellington, Peterborough and Pickering will each be on the other side, so much for geographical rivalries. Maybe they should pull out and join the CJHL; easier route to nationals!)

Kingston Kimco Voyageurs win league title (Kingston Whig-Standard)

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