Parry Sound’s U18 Brokerlink Shamrocks are once again in the running for the Ontario Minor Hockey Association’s Redhats.
Kelly Krist, the team’s Manager, says for the second year in a row, the Shamrocks will be heading to Barrie to compete for one of the OMHA’s highest honours.
“March 31st is the start of the playdowns and they’ll be in Barrie. Our games will be at the Peggy Hill Community Center. Our first game is at 8:15 AM and we play Saugeen Shores. Then our second game will be at the same arena and it will be against Mount Bridges. And then depending on how we do in those games, we’ll move on to the semi-finals that take place on Saturday,” Krist says.
Krist says the OMHA came up with some new stipulations to qualify for the finals this year, switching to a playdown system. “We ended up playing Oro in the finals in our region. So we won a couple of games against Oro which was an amazing team it was a hard-fought battle. We won 4 to 1 and 5 to 1 and we secured our spot in the upcoming Championship OMHA Finals,” she says.
She says as a Tier I team, the Shamrocks are one of over 70 teams that compete throughout the season in their region for a chance to make the OMHA finals. Krist says the U18 Parry Sound team is one of a dozen teams who qualified to play for the Redhats this year, making them one of the top 12 teams in Ontario. She calls it a huge accomplishment for the young hockey players. “I think the success of the team is due 100 per cent to each of our players. They have impeccable work ethic, their team-first mentality is over the top, and our coaches continuously try to instill that in our kids. I think as parents, coaches and fans, everybody is so proud of our players,” she says.
“This is an absolutely incredible achievement and for that, as a coach, I am extremely proud of this season’s group. They show up every day with dedication, passion and effort both on and off the ice and I predict great things for these boys in the future,” says Chris Dumont, the team’s Coach.
She says anyone interested in watching the game virtually can go on to the OMHA website. “But I know our fans in Parry Sound are absolutely wonderful. You wouldn’t believe it, there isn’t a Shamrock game that happens at the Bobby Orr Community Center that we don’t get at least probably 250 fans, which is crazy,” Krist says. “So I think that we will have parents, grandparents, friends and students that will show up. Everybody wears green, everybody rings bells and the support is unbelievable. We have truly a giant Shamrock family and it makes it so exciting to be there. It’s only an hour away so I think they will come to support them. It’s absolutely amazing when you recognize the true support that we have in our small town.”