• The Stouffville Spirit, now 27-19-5, secured a 5-4 victory against the Markham Royals in a rescheduled match-up yesterday afternoon.
  • Cameron Kosurko put on a show with an early hat trick, scoring his third goal just two and a half minutes into the second period and earning himself the Player of the Game Belt.
  • Zack Corte and Evan Breckles each had a goal, and both teams registered 40 shots apiece.
  • The Spirit hold eighth place and the final playoff berth in the Ontario Junior Hockey League’s Eastern Conference, with the Lindsay Muskies trailing by just four conference points.
  • Three games remain in Stouffville’s regular season as the team aims to finish strong and clinch their playoff spot.


The Spirit maintained focus for 60 high-intensity minutes yesterday, persevering through some dicey moments in a game filled with penalties. Cameron Kosurko’s opening two goals in the first period provided scoreboard padding and set the stage for his hat trick early in the second.

“Definitely a great feeling getting that hat trick and helping out the team in a big game like that,” Kosurko told Bullet Point News. “Personally, I was just ready and flying out the gate, and as a group we knew how we wanted to play against those guys.”

After going up 3-1, Stouffville’s defence responded well as Markham fought back through the second and third periods. Though they struggled to capitalize on five power play opportunities, strong performances from goaltender Kyle Downey and the Spirit penalty kill kept damage to a minimum. Andoni Fimis also provided four assists, three from Odaro Ewere, helping to keep Stouffville on top.

A short-handed goal by the Royals made it 5-4 with less than two minutes to go, but Stouffville maintained their composure to claim an important victory. “It was a huge win for us tonight,” Spirit Coach TJ Hill told us after the game. “Markham is a very dangerous team, and it took a total team effort to get those two conference points.”

Stouffville has pushed hard through February, going 6-4-1 to position themselves in eighth place with a real chance at making the playoffs. Following yesterday’s win, they are now four conference points up on the Lindsay Muskies, who have two regular-season games remaining on their schedule.

Stouffville needs just one win, tie, or overtime game to lock in the postseason, though one Muskies loss or tie would also see the playoffs added to the calendar. However, should the Muskies win out and the Spirit fail to secure a final point, resulting in an Eastern Conference eighth-place tie, a single-game tie-breaker will determine who moves forward.

The first contest in their final regular season stretch will be a Leap Day battle versus Canada’s #1 ranked Junior team: the Collingwood Blues. The game will be at home in the Stouffville Arena on Thursday, February 29, starting at 7:30 p.m.

“It will be a great chance for us to see the standard of a top team…and be able to learn from it, win or lose. Plus, we owe them one from last year,” Kosurko explained. “We know how we need to play to be successful, so that’s how we are going to come out on Thursday and the rest of this season.”

Stouffville will then head to the Markham Centennial Community Centre on Friday, March 1, for a 7:30 p.m. rematch against the Royals. In their final regular season game on Sunday, March 3, the Spirit will host the 11th place Aurora Tigers. The puck drops at 2:30 p.m. at the Stouffville Arena.

“The team is excited for what’s ahead of us, but we haven’t accomplished anything yet…There’s lots of work to do,” Kosurko concluded. “It’s in our hands to make sure we get into the playoffs, and as a team, we are definitely ready for that.”