Prince Edward County’s Newspaper of Record
June 14, 2024
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Sports
February 26, 2024

On to the playoffs

Pirates draw first round date with Raiders
<p>Parker Mattis and the Picton Pirates will be taking on the Napanee Raiders in the first round of the 2024 Schmalz Cup Playoffs. (Jason Parks/Gazette Staff)</p>
Parker Mattis and the Picton Pirates will be taking on the Napanee Raiders in the first round of the 2024 Schmalz Cup Playoffs. (Jason Parks/Gazette Staff)

The Picton Pirates have a date with the Napanee Raiders to open the 2024 Schmalz Cup Playoffs and it took until the final day of the Provincial Junior Hockey League regular season to set it.

The Raiders had an opportunity to clinch third seed in the upcoming playoffs and draw an opening round match up with winless Campbellford when they hosted Frankford on Friday.

But the Huskies made short work of a 2-0 first period deficit and ended up beating the Raiders 5-3.

That left the door open for Port Hope to leapfrog Napanee and into third place with a win in Campbellford on Sunday which the Panthers did with a 4-1 win.

Frankford and Amherstview have taken the first round byes that come with placing first and second, respectively, in the Tod Division.

Picton visits Napanee on Tues. Feb. 27 8:30 p.m. for Game 1 and then hosts the Raiders for Game 2 at 7:30 p.m. on Thurs. Feb. 29.

The rest of the schedule is as follows: Game 3, Fri. March 1 @ Napanee 7:30 p.m.; Game 4, Sunday March 3 in Picton 7:30 p.m.; *Game 5: Tues. March 5 @ Napanee 8:00 p.m.; *Game 6: Thurs. March 7 in Picton 7:30 p.m. *Game 7: Fri March 8 @ Napanee 7:30 p.m. *Denotes only if necessary.

Frenzied Finish

In their final action of the regular season, the Pirates lost a close game to the Panthers and then capped off the year with a win in Campbellford.

On Thursday at home and the Panthers seeking the third seed, the Pirates played the Cats close but were unable to capitalize in the late going as Port Hope won 3-1.

After a scoreless first period, the Pirates opened the scoring at 2:30 into the second when Gerrit Kempers made a nice ffed to setup Zack Brooks who went high glove side on Brayden Friedrich to make it a 1-0 game.

Reese Kleinsteuber had a pair of goals to pace his team to a 7-1 over host Campbellford Saturday night. (Jason Parks/Gazette Staff)

That lead lasted all of 31 seconds, however, as the Panthers marched up the ice and Noah Richard would take a bank pass from Kyle Ramsperger off the boards behind Picton starter Nic McGrayne and sent it into the open cage at 3:01.

Later in the second, the Panthers would pull in front for good as Braxton Mullins’s shot caromed off a Picton defender’s stick and past Mr. McGrayne at 10:12.

In the third, the Pirates had numerous clean looks for an equalizer including a number of half empty nets but Picton couldn’t pull the trigger.

With Mr. McGrayne on the bench, it was Port Hope that would send a puck into the yawning Picton cage to make it a 3-1 final.

On Saturday, the Pirates were in Campbellford where the host organization announced they were putting the Rebels name to bed. When the club vacates the venerable Campbellford-Seymour Community Centre for a new arena next door, the club will be known as the Trent Hills Thunder.

Picton’s last ever visit to the Rebel hideout was all Pirates. And former Pirates.

Reese Kleinsteuber had a pair of goals while Aiden Treverton, Ian Harrison, Mr. Kempers, Garrison Moore and Mackenzie Moyer all lit the lamp for the Pirates.

Meanwhile, Campbellford’s lone goal came off the stick of Owen Ellis and was set up by Kleighton Grove and Tyler Hall- all former Picton skaters.

Ethan Schwarz picked up the win for the Pirates.

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