Langton Master Mechanic peewees wanted to carry some of the momentum from winning the 2014 LAMHA Joe Callens Memorial rep hockey tournament into playoffs.
OMHA DD playdowns started a week later with a six-point series against Cayuga, which the Leafs swept in three games. A preliminary round bye put them into quater-finals against Plattsville, a six-point series that started Wednesday in Langton.
They have also been tearing it up in Southern Counties C playoffs.
"We haven't lost a game since that tournament," said Master Mechanic coach Dave Schoffro. "We lost one game in that tournament (4-1 to Dunnville, which was avenged in the final) and we haven't lost again until tonight."
That month-long stretch included six consecutive Southern Counties wins, three OMHA DD wins against Cayuga, then one Southern Counties tie, and another win, giving them an impressive 11-game unbeaten streak.
Plattsville, third overall in Southern Counties' 21-team peewee division and seeded in A division playoffs, posed a different kind of challenge Wednesday night and the Leafs' streak ended with an 8-1 Plattsville victory.
Plattsville's Cotter Hegan scored the first of his three goals with 1:13 left in the first period to give the visitors a 2-0 lead. Hegan struck again 1:14 into the second period, then made it a natural hat trick swiping a rebound past Langton goalie Guerin Greenfield with 33 seconds left in the same period.
Between Hegan's second and third goals, Langton spent the majority of their time on Plattsville's side of the red line.
"We had chances, we just couldn't bury it," said Schoffro. "Until their fourth or fifth goal, I thought it was pretty even as far as play. It just didn't show on the scoreboard. It was just one of those things, they (Plattsville) seemed to be right there, right time, right spot. They capitalized when they got the opportunity.
"We had a couple chances early, and I think if we could have got that first goal, it could have changed the whole game, because then you get the momentum."
Plattsville goalie Greg VanBoekel stonewalled Langton's shooters until late in the third when Master Mechanic's Jordan Vanacker (Kyle Major) jammed home a loose puck for a power-play goal with exactly three minutes left to play.
"We had a lot of chances in front of the net, a lot of scrums," said Schoffro. "We were getting there, getting the rebounds, but I think we've got to get the puck up. It was all right into the goalie's pads."
Langton had played Plattsville once earlier in the season, a 3-1 Southern Counties loss.
"I think we haven't played a team of that calibre in a while and we have to get back to getting used to playing at higher speeds," said Master Mechanic captain Jeremy VanOoteghem, "and keeping our game above theirs."
They did it against Cayuga, said VanOoteghem, a team he described as pretty fast.
"The first (Cayuga game) was close, then as we got more use to it, the scores got farther and farther apart for us."
An offensive-minded defenceman – VanOoteghem has 16 goals this season – he was not averse to rushing the puck when the opportunity presented itself Wednesday. But VanBoekel was equal to the task.
"I think he (VanBoekel) is better on low shots."
Game 2 of the quarter-finals will be played Sunday, Feb. 16, in Plattsville at 12 p.m., returning to Langton for Game 3 on Wednesday, Feb. 19 at 8 p.m.
"I think we've just got to keep going to the net and getting the rebounds," said VanOoteghem.
"We've just got to forget about this one and think about the next one... and we've got to beat them."
Wednesday night's Langton minor hockey included novice and atom Southern Counties playoff games. The Langton Lions novice rep hockey team tied Tavistock 7-7 and the Long's Lumber atoms shut out Embro 2-0.
Langton Lions 7, Tavistock 7
Langton's Alex Deroo and Tavistock's Keaton Bartlett both scored a pair of third-period goals Wednesday night, Deroo's being the game-tying goal with 3:06 left to play. Both Deroo and Bartlett finished the Southern Counties playoff game with four goals.
Langton scoring: 1. Marek Vanacker (Alex Deroo, J. Van Es); 2. Case Reimer (Alex Deroo, B. Swain); 3. Alex Deroo (Case Reimer); 4. Marek Vanacker (Austin McDowell, Samuel Connors); 5. Alex Deroo (Kyle Devos, Samuel Connors); 6. Alex Deroo (Case Reimer, B. Swain); 7. Alex Deroo (Marek Vanacker, Jack Pettit).
Langton Lions 5, Plattsville 0
Langton took a 3-0 lead in Sunday's Southern Counties novice hockey game against Plattsville, then added two more in the third for the shutout victory.
Langton scoring: 1. Alex Deroo (Bayden Swain); 2. Marek Vanacker (Austin McDowell); 3. Alex Deroo (Jack Pettit); 4. Alex Deroo (Kyle Devos); 5. Bayden Swain. Shutout – Kieran Gubesch.
Langton Long's Lumber 2, Embro 0
Jesse Reimer's goal with 40 seconds left to play sealed Langton's Southern Counties playoff victory Wednesday night.
Langton scoring: 1. Tyson Lambrecht (Jesse Reimer, Michael Vanacker); 2. Jesse Reimer (Stefan Vandendriessche). Shutout – Colton Butler.