Blades Win Physical 4-0 Affair Against Toronto JRC

Oakville exploitied a sleeping Toronto defense

Blades Win Physical 4-0 Affair Against Toronto JRC
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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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Just a night after dropping their second straight loss to the Toronto Patriots, the Oakville Blades traveled to Toronto once again to take on the Jr. Canadiens at Buckingham Arena. Toronto, who defeated Burlington by a score of 7-0 the night before, came into the contest with a lot of momentum against a winless Blades club. However, Oakville dominated every aspect of the game that featured the two teams at equal strength, which paid off in the end as the Blades stole a 4-0 victory over the Jr. Canadiens to take their first victory of the year.

It didn’t take the Blades long to get on the board. After being held without a goal in the first two games of the regular season, Ross Sloan found a lucky bounce on the strange ice and potted it home past Nathan Colitto. Sloan had a strong first period, pressuring the Jr. Canadiens’ defense with incredible offensive force shift after shift. Sloan wasn’t the only one to look strong offensively, however. Similar to the opening night contest against Burlington, all four lines on Oakvillle’s roster showed tremendous persistence, giving Toronto very limited scoring chances during the opening twenty.

Fortunately for the Jr. Canadiens, Colitto was on the top of his game. In a period where his team was badly outshot, the Bolton, Ontario native was forced to make some incredible stops with his quick glove hand and solid reflexes.

Toronto would begin the second period with a little bit more momentum, but it would be Oakville who would get the first laugh. Featuring a line full of brand new blades, Josh Kosack and Ryan Burns both connected on the puck before Matt Lippa managed to rip the puck top shelf for the 2-0 goal. The rest of the period proved to be a back and forth affair with neither team looking to budge, but Oakville did score the third goal of the game before the end of the second. With time counting down before it was time to head to the change room, Christian Rajic’s beautiful pass on the power-play allowed Kamil Tkaczuk to put the puck past Colitto for the 3-0 lead.

A dangerous hit in the third period almost saw Matt McLeod have to leave the game early. While trying to play the puck up the boards, JRC forward Will Lawrence checked the speedy Oakville winger from behind, sending him head on into the boards. Luckily for Oakville, McLeod would stick around to finish the game, but Toronto couldn’t say the same about Lawrence as he was handed a game misconduct.

Just minutes after the Oakville power-play came to a close, Tkaczuk came just inches from scoring two goals quickly. On his first opportunity, a nice pass by Sloan in front landed right on the stick of Tkaczuk, who unfortunately hit the cross bar on the play. Seconds later, a second chance emerged when he spun around in front of the net, only to have the same exact outcome.

The missed scoring chances by Tkaczuk proved to be irrelevant at the 6 minute mark in the third. Thanks to fantastic work along the boards by Ryan Garvey, Rajic was able to find the puck at the left face-off dot before going bar down with the puck. Oakville had been exploiting a sleeping Toronto defense for the majority of the game, and the third period proved to be no exception.

Things got heated late in the third as neither team were able to actually hold a power-play for the full time before taking a penalty of their own. Cole Robbins of the Blades became the second player to find himself leaving the game early, and just like Lawrence earlier in the game, it would be for checking from behind. That would be the last action the fans in attendance would witness, as an uneventful final few minutes of play was all it took for Oakville to come home with the 4-0 victory.

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