By Steven Ellis
Sunday, February 26, 2017 8:00 am ·  0 Comments
A hard-fought back-and-forth contest between Oakville and Markham saw the Blades take a 5-4 victory that ended the 2016-2017 regular season.
The Royals got the first goal after a weird bounce in front of the net. Just briefly after the second faceoff of the game, Lucas Condotta found an airborne puck after Adriano Leone originally sent it towards the net, giving Markham the 1-0 lead after 39 seconds of action.
Oakville’s line of Jackson Bales, Jack Jeffers and Drew Worrad was impressive on Friday night, with the trio potting five goals in an 8-4 victory over Milton. So it was fitting that all three would play a role in the first Blades goal at 4:45 in the second. Worrad started the play by sending it off to Jeffers, who then fed it to Jackson Bales at the high slot. Bales went on to make a nice move around a defender before walking in and sending a blast past Marcus Semiao to make it 1-1.
Unfortunately for Oakville, Markham took their lead back. This time, Condotta picked up a rebound from Brendan McGlynn and shovelled the puck home at 5:14 to put the Royals back in front.
But their lead didn’t last long as the Blades took the 4-2 lead thanks to three straight goals. First, Jack Ricketts found Tyler Hildebrandt, who sent a nicely placed shot between Semiao’s legs to make it 2-2 at 6:02.
Then, not even a minute later, Jeffers got one of his own after faking a pass to Bales, only to send another one through Semaio’s wickets to end the goalie’s night early after Oakville took the 3-2 lead.
But it wasn’t done. Oakville had the majority of the scoring chances in the second, and even the low percentage chances proved fruitful. Bryce Misley added to Oakville’s lead after taking a cross-ice pass from Christian Rajic before sending a shot from a tough angle beside the net to make it 4-2 Blades.
With 2:47 left in the period, Misley scored again. The hard-working player scored a great goal after making a move behind the net to fake out Graham Schropp, before swooping back in front of the crease and sniping it top right for the 5-2 goal.
After a delay for a door malfunction on the Markham bench, the game saw a flood with 2:47 remaining in the second period. Once the teams returned, they finished out the portion of the period before switching ends that began the third period.
Markham wasn’t happy about the second period, and fought back. With under six minutes left, Condotta was still able to score his second goal after a give-and go with Leone to make it 5-3.
Then, with just over three minutes left in the game, Laine McKay scored on a wrister in close to make it 5-4, bringing the score within one. Fortunately for the Blades, a good second period by Misley gave the Blades the victory to end the regular season on a high note.
The Blades will now focus their efforts to the North York Rangers, with the 2017 playoffs beginning next Friday at Sixteen Mile Sports Complex. Puck drop is at 7:30 PM for game one, hope to see you there!