A 32-year drought has come to an end for the Loyalist Township major midget hockey team.
For the first time since 1988, the Jets have qualified for the Ontario Minor Hockey Association championship final.
After playoff wins over the Frontenac Flyers, Brighton and Shelburne, Chris Kelly’s club will play the South Huron Sabres from Exeter for the OMHA Midget CC title.
The six-point series begins on Saturday night at the W.J Henderson Arena in Amherstview. Game time is 6 p.m.
“There’s a lot of pressure but still, it’s going to be a lot of fun,” said Jets defenceman Aidan Proderick.
The 17-year-old blueliner says years of hard work have finally paid off.
“It’s been a total effort for years,” added Proderick.
“We’ve been together as a group for about nine years now. We’re looking so forward to Saturday. It’s going to be amazing to take the ice with these guys and play in a provincial final. We’re determined to achieve our goal of winning the OMHA championship.”
Liam Dawson has been with this team for the past nine seasons. The long-time captain of the Loyalist Jets can’t wait for the drop of the puck.
“We’re pumped to get this series started,” said Dawson, who is expecting a capacity crowd on Saturday night.
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“The arena was jammed for our semi-final win against Shelburne,” Dawson said.
“The hometown support has been overwhelming. I have no doubt it will be standing room only.”
For many, this will be their final days of minor hockey. Alex Pym-Robichaud would like nothing better than to go out a winner.
“Playing with these guys for the past nine years has been special,” said the talented forward. “I’ve never been in a hockey final before.
“It’s going to be a blast. I love playing with these guys. Win or lose, we’re going to go through this together.”
Game 2 will be played at the Henderson Arena on Sunday at 3 p.m.