Late Goals Help Blades Cement 4-3 Comeback Over Stouffville Spirit

Late Goals Help Blades Cement 4-3 Comeback Over Stouffville Spirit
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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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Two late goals by Patrick Kudla and Bryce Misley helped lead the Oakville Blades to a big 4-3 comeback victory over the red-hot Stouffville Spirit on Friday night.

The first ten minutes of Friday’s contest didn’t see a lot of action, but that didn’t stop the Stouffville Spirit from finding the net early to open the scoring. Before the period was half over, Christopher Brill-Morgan picked up the puck at the high slot on a rebound attempt, firing it over Blades goaltender Mike Botiz and in for the 1-0 goal early in the game.

It took just a minute for the Spirit to score in the second period. Chad Burrows would get credit for the marker that doubled up their lead, shooting the puck from the point before somehow finding a small opening below the left skate of Botiz and having it trickle across the line.

The Blades were very hungry in the following six minutes, taking nine of the next ten shots in the contest. The best scoring chance came from defenseman Patrick Kudla at the point, who danced around a Stouffville winger before sending the puck towards the net. He definetly was able to beat goaltender Conor McCollum on the play, but it would be the big red post that would hurt the home team in the end on the play.

With just seven seconds remaining in the second, the Blades were finally able to find the back of the net for the first time, Fresh off a strong three point performance at the Eastern Canada Cup tournament in Cornwall this past week, Tyler Rollo would cut the lead in half with a fantastic wrist shot from the high slot, using Drew Worrad as a screen in front to beat McCollum for the first time.

Oakville controlled all the momentum in the early portion of the second, and after just four minutes, the team was able to tie things up at two. Easily one of the most dynamic forwards in the entire OJHL, Christian Rajic got his team-leading 35th point of the season after jamming the puck in a small opening near the left post, tying things up at two. The Spirit were quick to respond, however, as a neutral zone give-away led Alex Williamson to give the visiting club their one goal lead back.

With Rajic out of the game with eight minutes to go following a very rare fight, the Blades needed to find some extra scoring if they were to tie the game up. Of course, Patrick Kudla, the top scoring OJHL defenseman by a fair bit, was up for the challenge, turning a Jackson Bales pass in front into the game tying goal with under five minutes to go.

Oakville spent the whole game trailing and trying to catch back up, but a goal in the dying minutes by Bryce Misley would help give the Blades the come from behind victory. It was an impressive play for the young forward, who looped around the net and sniped the puck over McCollumn;s left shoulder, giving the Blades their first lead of the game at an important time to win the game 4-3.

The Blades will travel to Markham on Sunday for their first meeting with the newly re-located franchise before returning home on Friday for a game against the Toronto Patriots. Don’t forget to bring a new teddy bear to for the Teddy Bear Toss, which will earn you free admission into the game. We hope to see you there.

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