Bennett, Buitenhuis shine in close 3-2 victory over Georgetown

Bennett, Buitenhuis shine in close 3-2 victory over Georgetown
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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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The Oakville Blades and Georgetown Raiders always have memorable contests when they come together, and the excitement was certainty at Sixteen Mile Sports Complex on Friday Night. The game was tight through all 60 minutes, but in the end Oakville emerged with a 3-2 win.

Kamil Tkaczuk got the crowd pumped early in the game, crushing Georgetown forward Steve Midensky hard into the boards. Midensky would limp off the ice with what appeared to be a shoulder injury, but he wouldn’t miss a shift rejoining the action shortly after. Oakville forward Kris Bennett got the first solid chance of the evening when he dangled the Georgetown defence from his own zone, but he couldn’t get a good angle for the final shot and it would get stopped by the blocker of Michael McNiven. Bennett did manage to get Oakville the first goal of the contest when he got a power-play marker in front of the net, re-directing Greg Campbell’s point shot. On the very next play, Georgetown went down the ice and John Adams got a weak one past Evan Buitenhuis, tying the game up at one apiece.

The shots were 8-1 for Georgetown at one point, but Oakville battled back and took the 17-15 shot advantage by the end of the period. Both goalies were busy during the first, but the athletic Buitenhuis faced the tougher of the shots, including an early glove stop while in the splits.

The second period saw a much slower pace of action. In the first period, the shots were flying in the first couple minutes of the contest, but at the half way point of the second, the Blades had only recorded three shots. The Raiders, on the other hand, had taken seven, but they were have trouble getting anything of substance off.

Now, that wouldn’t be the case in the final five minutes. With a two man advantage for the Blades, Dalton Bew got his first of two points during the contest from beside the net, giving Oakville the 2-1 lead, but just like the first goal his team scored, it wouldn’t last. On the very next play, Ryan Smith got his eighth marker of the season when he ripped it over the blocker of Boots and into the net. Buitenhuis was able to take at least a little bit of the pain away after the goal, making an unbelievable diving save on a one timer right in front of the net, keeping the game tied at two heading into the dressing room.

The emotion between the two rivals hit a game high at the six minute mark of the third period when defenceman Kyle Allan skated full speed from the blue line to hit Vince Palermo behind the Blades net, a dangerous hit earning him a two minute for head contact and a ten minute misconduct. Both Palermo and Brandon Lukezic attempted to get to the Georgetown defenceman, but the referees managed to keep the two teams apart. A few minutes later, while attempting to get around the puck playing Buitenhuis, Midensky was called for goaltender interference; however, it’s debatable whether or not there was actually any real contact on the play.

The fans at Sixteen Mile thought the contest was headed to overtime, but the Blades had different plans. Bennett, who possibly learned from Connor McDavid earlier today in the Team Canada World Junior game, was a dominant force, recording his second goal of the night and third point of the game. The Raiders now became desperate in the dying seconds. Even with the power-play and their goalie pulled, they couldn’t get past Boots. They didn’t go down without a fight, but considering Buitenhuis made the greatest save sequence ever seen at a junior hockey game, there wasn’t much they could do. Buitenhuis recorded 39 saves for the Blades en route to being named the first star of the game, leading his Blades team to a well deserved 3-2 victory.



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