Visiting Timmins Majors completed a two-game playoff sweep of the Soo Greyhounds on Saturday with a come-from-behind, 3-2 overtime triumph.
Forward Cameron Chisholm tallied in the early seconds of overtime to give Timmins its first and only lead of the game and the opening round, best-of-three, Great North Midget Hockey League playoff series 2-0.
Timmins had won the series opener in Friday with a 2-1 win over the visitors from the Soo.
Saturday’s match at the Essar Center in Sault Ste. Marie was a see-saw sizzler that could have gone either way.
Twice the visitors from Timmins battled back to tie the game before winning it early in the extra frame.
Forwards Raf Praysner and Nick Jameus staked the Greyhounds to 1-0 and 2-1 leads before front-line skaters Kobe Barrette and Austin Holmes tied it for the Majors at 1-1, then 2-2.
While the Majors were relentless on the fore check and forced multiple turnovers in the contest, it was the Greyhounds who had more dangerous scoring chances. And while Soo goalie Dawson Hunter played well, Timmins tender Dylan Dallaire was sensationally stellar.
Dallaire was at his best when the Majors were trailing and the Greyhounds had several close-in scoring opportunities to take a two-goal lead. But Dallaire made a number of saves that induced gasps from those in attendance.
Dallaire was not the only Timmins player who stood out.
The aforementioned Barrette — who is a 2002 birth year rookie — and Holmes turned in noticeable, hard-toiling performances for the Majors as did fellow forwards Riley Brousseau and Gabby Kioki.
The series sweep by Timmins, which finished in fifth place on the major midget side of the Great North with a regular season record of 14-21-1, continued a turnaround from last season under a first-year coaching staff led by soon-to-be-29-year old bench boss Brandon Perry. The Majors finished a distant last in the Great North in 2016-2017 with a record of 2-32-2.
Perry paid tribute to both his team and the Greyhounds following Saturday’s series-clinching win.
“The Soo gave us a dog fight, our goaltender was exceptional and I’m happy for our young men. Very happy for them,” Perry told Hockey News North.
The Timmins coach also alluded to the tough travel schedule that had the two teams play in Iroquois Falls — just outside Timmins — on Friday night and then having to head to the Soo for Saturday’s tilt.
“Their coaching staff showed nothing but respect to us, even stopping by (on Saturday) to see if we got in all right. I’ll never forget that. It’s a great group on the other side but at the same time it’s nice to come out in top.”
The series defeat put an end to the 2017-2018 campaign for the Greyhound midgets, who finished in fourth place during the regular season with a 13-19-4 record, just a point ahead of Timmins.
Timmins now advances to the second round of the playoffs against the top-seeded North Bay Trappers while the other semi-final will feature third-place Kapuskasing Flyers and second-ranked Sudbury Nickel Capital Wolves.
Kapuskasing punched its ticket in to the second round on Saturday as forward Jared Dupuis tallied twice in a 5-1 triumph over the New Liskeard Cubs to fashion a two-game sweep.
PHOTO: Great North Midget Hockey League action between the Timmins Majors and Soo Greyhounds from earlier this season. (Photo by Timmins Daily Press.)