By Steven Ellis
Saturday, March 19, 2016 6:00 am ·  0 Comments
The Oakville Blades had a two-goal lead after two periods and cruised the rest of the way to a 4-1 win over the Burlington Cougars in the first game of their second round playoff series.
Sometimes, you don’t need your top scoring guns to open up the scoring for you. In fact OJHL rookie, Evan Brown recorded his first playoff goal after converting on a nice passing play between Michael Mannara and Brendan Doherty. The goal gave the Blades the 1-0 lead after just 5:13 of play. Brown, a draft pick by the Guelph Storm back in 2013, came into the playoffs with just two regular season goals, but his impact was noticed by many thanks to his solid speed and ability to throw big hits on the Blades energy line.
The Blades took the 2-0 lead with seven minutes completed in the second. Michael Mannara, another Guelph Storm prospect, beat goaltender Andrew Lee with a tremendous slap shot over the blocker, soaring in for the multi-goal advantage.
Mannara, a 16-year-old rookie in the league, had just one goal and five points in 45 regular season games this year. In the last four playoffs games alone, Mannara found himself on the score sheet five times, with three goals to his credit, as well as two points alone before the halfway point of game one in round two.
Burlington is a good club, so a high scoring game wasn’t in the cards. That, however, didn’t stop Oakville from taking a three goal lead. With just under 20 seconds off the clock in the third, Christian Rajic fired a howitzer from just inside the blue line on a power play, beating Lee.
The Cougars scored once. Zac Herrmann ended Brendan McGlynn’s shutout, by firing the puck up high on the Blades netminder and made it 3-1 with 3:11 off the clock in the third.
Rajic wasn’t a fan of that. With 4:30 off the clock in the period, #94 did what he does best and roofed it up over Lee, giving Oakville the 4-1 lead with his second goal in just under five minutes of play. It was the final goal of the night. The Blades held on to take the first game of the series.
The series will take a few days off before resuming Monday night in Burlington, a 7:30 pm puck drop at Appleby Arena. Oakville will return home on Tuesday for an 8:00 pm start at Sixteen Mile Sports Complex, hope to see you there!