by: Brendan Macgranachan
Friday, March 14, 2014
The Winnipeg Monarchs are the champions of the Bantam 1 division.
The Monarchs capped off a perfect playoff run with a 6-0 victory over the Winnipeg Hawks on Thursday night to sweep the championship series in four games.
They won all eight of their playoff games to capture the title after a highly successful regular season in which they went 31-1.
The Monarchs had their share of scoring chances in the first period but weren't able to beat Hawks goaltender Logan Thiessen. Halfway through the period, Ben Kirton streaked in on a breakaway after picking off a pass at the blueline but he was turned aside by Thiessen. Later, Thiessen stood his ground on a Monarchs powerplay, stopping Tanner Mole in close twice to keep the game scoreless.
The Monarchs finally solved Thiessen at the 10:04 mark of the second period. Noah King pinched in and scored off a pass from Brandon Marques to open the scoring. A little bit later, Stelio Mattheos centered a pass for Marques. His shot was saved by Thiessen but he couldn't cover up the puck. Mattheos grabbed the rebound and slotted it in the net to make it 2-0.
The lead was increased to three at the 5:53 mark. On the powerplay, Connor Stewart made a nifty move in the corner and eeked one past Thiessen. Then in the dying seconds of the period, Mattheos made it 4-0 with a shot from the slot off a pass from Marques.
From there, the Monarchs cruised to the championship-clinching victory. They got goals from Kirton and Brennan Ostir in the third period to cap off the scoring. They now advance to the provincial finals, which begin on Friday in Winnipeg.
Congratulations to the Winnipeg Monarchs on their Bantam 1 title.