After missing an opportunity to close out the Western Conference final Tuesday Leamington Flyers head coach Dale Mitchell didn't like what he saw after a scoreless first period in Game 5 at home. "We didn't love it. We didn't think it was a good enough effort especially the way things ended in game 4. We weren't too hard on them."
The coaching staff gave them enough of a talk during the intermission as the Flyers took off in the second. Owen Holmes got things going 57 seconds into the period with his 10th of the playoffs. "We just said we're good." said Connor MacPherson, who assisted on the goal. "We had to get that first one and once that first one came we kept rolling."
At 5:18 Anthony Ciaramitaro threw a wrister towards the net that was redirected at the side of the net by Hayden Reid for a 2-0 advantage. The Flyers got one more before the end of the period when MacPherson banked a shot off the stick of a Lincolns player into the St. Mary's net.
Michael Elliston got one back for the visitors on the powerplay midway through the third but Leamington clamped down on defence and held on for a 3-1 win. They take the series 4-1 to earn their first conference title since 2015.
"It's a great feeling." said captain Gabe Piccolo. "Everything we've worked for this year, it's a great accomplishment we got here. So proud of these boys."
The championship was extra special for Flyers goaltender Bryce Walcarius who accepted the MVP trophy to a chorus of "Wally". Walcarius turned aside 32 shots against his former team. "It's an awesome feeling coming from all the way from the start of the year thinking I was going to be on St. Mary's now getting traded here, playing in the finals against them and being able to pull it out it's surreal to me."
The Flyers now advance to the Sutherland Cup.