'Cardiac kids' headed to OMHA semis, News (Langton Minor Hockey)

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'Cardiac kids' headed to OMHA semis
Submitted By Jacob Robinson - Simcoe Reformer on Saturday, February 27, 2016
LANGTON - The latest version of the 'cardiac kids' have emerged.

They wear black and gold, but the Langton Leafs atom rep team has used a blue collar work ethic to gain a spot in the Ontario Minor Hockey Association (OMHA) 'DD' semifinals.

Their journey started with a 'first to six point' series that came down to a winner-take-all Game 5 against Norwich in the opening round. In the wake of a 3-2 victory, the Leafs engaged in an epic quarter-final versus Plattsville that went the distance. A 1-1 tie in Game 5 meant a rare Game 6 was required.

Despite being in enemy territory for the match, Langton came up aces with a 4-0 win.

“We don't have a flashy team, we don't have superstar players, but what we do have is a group of kids that love the game and work hard to support each other. We have a great forecheck, solid defence and good goaltending,” explained Leafs coach Bryan Swain, who credited the entire coaching staff for motivating the squad prior to puck drop.

“I think that was the key to Game 6 - we forechecked the heck out of them, kept them pinned in their own end and it resulted in some goals.”

Swain said his team's opener against Norwich – where they won the first two games only to see that lead evaporate over the next two – helped Langton in their next battle.

“Everybody says it would be nice to take a series three games straight, but myself and the other coaches believe you earn what you work for,” he said. “You don't want everything to always be easy - the best life lessons are the ones you have to work hard to achieve your goal.”

Things won't get any easier for the Leafs as they'll match up with Thamesford in the semifinals. Game 1 goes Sunday in Langton at 3 p.m. The Attack haven't lost a game in the playoffs thus far and hold an overall season mark of 22 wins and just nine losses.

Langton knows exactly what is key in their quest for a second straight finals birth.

“Our forecheck,” Swain noted. “I make the analogy with the boys that we're a blue-collar team. We go out there, grab our lunch pails and go to work every game. The more you can forecheck, the more time you spend in the offensive zone, obviously the less chances the other teams gets.”

As the last Langton squad remaining in the OMHA playdowns, the team knows all eyes will be on them going forward. That's exactly where the group wants to be.

“It is exciting. Half of the team, the second year boys, they went to the finals last year vs. Shallow Lake so for the other half of the team this is a new experience. They're pretty pumped about it,” Swain said. “ It is something kind of big being in a small town - the only team left in OMHAs and they like to remark on that once in a while.”

Jacob Robinson
Simcoe reformer
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