The Waterloo Siskins returned home to the friendly Waterloo Memorial Recreation Complex Sunday afternoon with a 1-0 series lead over the Stratford Warriors in the best of seven Cherry Cup Semi-Finals. Waterloo beat Stratford on the road Friday by a 2-1 margin.

Waterloo jumped to a 1-0 lead 26 seconds into the game when BRETT SCHAEFER was able to track down his own shot deflected wide by the Warrior goaltender and flip the puck in front to CURTIS RAWN who scored on the open net. Warriors Tyson Kielt scored to tie the game a bit more than 6 minutes later on a “seeing eye” shot from the half wall that somehow eluded Siskins net minder MATT ONUSKA on the short side. The Warriors took the lead at 9:16 of the first period when Sean Ross converted a goal mouth scramble. Waterloo tied the game when Siskins WINSTON CESTNICK corralled his own rebound flipping the puck from his knees over a sprawled out Warrior net minder Zack Weir.

The second period was all Waterloo. WINSTON CESTNICK converted a perfect pass from MICHAEL KEATING two minutes into the period. The “two on two rush” was a shorthanded attack for Waterloo (See Photo #1 of Mar 17, 2019 Album). Waterloo killed off a second penalty in the period before Stratford got into some penalty trouble themselves. Two penalties within 10 seconds of each other created a 5 on 3 for Waterloo. JEFF SCHRATTNER threw a shot passed the screened Warrior net minder at 11:09 of the period (See Photo #2 of Mar 17, 2019 Album) for 4-2 Waterloo lead. Twenty five seconds later (now on a one man advantage), TYLER DAM snuck in from the point and converted a perfect saucer pass from SAM CHERRY through the legs of the Warrior goalie. The Warrior’s scored on a power play of their own to make the score 5-3 Waterloo before BLAKE PETERLE blasted a point shot again through the legs of the Warrior goaltender WEIR. The Siskins made it 7-3 at 19:26 of the period when CURTIS RAWN scored his second of the game on the power play (See Photo #3 of Mar 17, 2019 Album).

The Warriors tried to mount a comeback in the third. Drew Welsh scored a shorthanded marker at 2:48 of the third period. Siksins goalie MATT ONUSKA left the game with an undisclosed injury on the play and was replaced by MACHUS TURNER who finished the game with a strong performance in relief (See Photo #4 of Mar 17, 2019 Album). The Warriors go to within two goals at 7-5 at the 13:19 mark of the period and had a few good chances on TURNER to draw closer. SAM SPAEDT put the game away for Waterloo with 1:16 seconds remaining winning a race for the puck and scoring on a diving sweep of the puck to make it a Waterloo 8 and Stratford 5 finish (See Photo #5 of Mar 17, 2019 Album). Waterloo outshot Stratford 43-31 in the game and was 3 for 6 on the power play versus Stratford being 1 for 5 with the man advantage. Both teams scored a shorthanded marker.

Both teams are right back at it Monday night when Waterloo travels to Stratford for a 7:30 puck drop. Game #4 is back in Waterloo Wednesday night, 7:30 at the Waterloo Memorial Recreation Complex. Come for some great value in sporting entertainment.