Blades Heartbroken On Valentines Day, Lose 8-1

Blades Heartbroken On Valentines Day, Lose 8-1
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About the Author

Steven Ellis

Steven Ellis

Steven Ellis is an Oakvillian, who fell in love with Hockey journalism. He covered the Oakville Blades from 2013 to 2017. He will graduate from Ryerson School of Journalism in 2018. He has so far contributed to RogersTV, Metroland's Oakville Beaver, Euro Hockey, Daily Hive, The Scout House and Champions Hockey League. His next move is to the North York Rangers.

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With only four games remaining coming into Friday’s contest, every point counts for the Oakville Blades. The team knew that North York was going to prove to be a tough test, considering that the Toronto based team took the 8-1 victory in the previous meeting between the two teams a few months back. Unfortunately for Oakville, another 8-1 loss against the Rangers would make their playoff chances slimmer and slimmer as the season comes to a close.

It ony took them six minutes, but the Blades managed to get on the board first. Ryan Garvey, who hadn’t scored a goal since November 18th against the Cobourg Cougars, shot the puck over the glove of Jason Pucciarelli for the easy goal early in the contest. On the following play, bodies began to hit the floor as both Phillip Chadder from North York and Marcel Fatovic from Oakville would go down after borderline dangerous hits. Unfortunately for Oakville, Fatovic would not return with an apparent knee injury.

North York had a good chance to record a goal of their own almost ten minutes later when Patrick Simmonds connected on a rebound opportunity, however goaltender Mark Manolescu somehow managed to close the five hole in time after sliding cross crease to make the save. The Rangers would continue to lay on the pressure, taking total control of the shot clock before Zachary Fung finally was able to get one past Manolescu to tie the game up with five minutes to go in the period.North York found themselves in the lead only 56 seconds into the second. After a poor defensive zone effort by the Blades, Matthew Whittaker took the loose puck in front of the net and sent it soaring over the glove of Manolescu, giving North York the 2-1 lead. Corey Kalk would add a third North York goal with thirteen minutes remaiing when he got an identical goal to that of Whittaker’s not too long before that. Whittaker would add a second one late in the period after Oakville was unable to form any type of pressure.

The Blades had to deal with total heartbreak on Valentines day five minutes into the period. After allowing a weak goal in the first, Pucciarelli made up for it with arguably the best blocker save of the season, narrowly keeping it out of the net. Garvey believed he had his second of the night on the play, but after a five minute delay that clearly upset Oakville, the goal was considered no good. Garvey was given another chance to close the gap when at the nine minute mark, he was given a penalty shot. Unfortunately, just like on the waved off goal, he would have no luck finding the back of the net.

The Blades would take another bullet to the shoulder at the conclusion of late power-play during the second, when Sean Kohler’s top corner shot was called off after the ref whistled the play off early. To make things worse, Vince Palermo would be given a ten minute misconduct for head contact in the final minutes of the third. The Rangers would add a fifth goal before the period came to a close.

Just under two minutes into the final twenty, Ted Hunt got his second point of the night when he beat a fallen Manolescu up high. Liam Kerins would add a seventh goal for North York after dangling past two Oakville defensemen for the beautiful goal to make it 7-1 Rangers. Whittaker would add a third goal after catching Manolescu out of position in front of the crease to make it 8-1.

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