Saturday, March 5, 2016 6:30 am ·  0 Comments
By Steven Ellis
It was a rough affair for both teams, but the Oakville Blades managed to squeak past the St. Michael’s Buzzers with a 2-1 victory on Friday to take the first game of the Southwest Conference playoff series.
The first ten minutes saw some intense action between the two south division rivals, setting the standard for what should be a very solid playoff series. While multiple Blades players had scoring chances in the first few minutes, former Oakville Blade forward Sean Kohler seemed to do the most damage for the Buzzers early in. Kohler, who spent two seasons with the Blades from 2013-2015 had a couple of lone chances in close, but the Blade’s goalie Brendan McGlynn was just that much better.
The first period didn’t see a goal scored, but it took very little time in the second period for the puck to find the back of the net. After just a minute of play, Ryan Foss forced a turnover in the Buzzers zone. The former OHLer then proceeded to steal the puck, go in all alone and dangle former Blade Mark Manolescu while losing his balance scored Oakville’s first goal of the playoffs, a dandy one at that.
There weren’t a lot of goals in the game, but that worked in Oakville’s favour. After superb goaltending dominated the first 40 minutes of play, Foss got his second point of the night, after dishing the puck to Drew Worrad in front who scored, making it 2-0 Blades. The goal came just minutes after keeping the Buzzers away from the Blade’s net on a power play, limiting them to just one shot during their two minute advantage.
Penalties were the name of the game in the closing stages, with Brendan Doherty, Ryan Garvey and Patrick Kudla all having to leave the game with misconducts. That didn’t help the Blades on the scoreboard, as Thomas Baretta fired the puck home for the Buzzers, and placed them within a goal with three minutes to go, along with an extra man on the ice. It wasn’t enough for the Buzzers to force a tie late in the game, as the Blades held the 2-1 victory and took the first game of the playoff series.
With the win, the Blades will look to take a 2-0 advantage with a meeting at St. Michael’s College Arena set for 7:00 pm Saturday night. Oakville will return back home for game three on Tuesday, a 7:30 pm puck drop at Sixteen Mile Sports Complex. Hope to see you there!