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Mannella Shines in Net, but Oakville Drops 2-0 Decision to Toronto Patriots in Series Opener

OJHL Play-offs 2015: Oakville Blades - 0; Toronto Patriots - 1: Game 1, Round 2

Daniel Mannella in net for the Oakville Blades
Mannella Shines in Net, but Oakville Drops 2-0 Decision to Toronto Patriots in Series Opener

The game may have been a rough n’ tumble affair, but the score didn’t end in Oakville’s favour as the Toronto Patriots began the second round of the playoffs with a 2-0 victory.

The first half of the opening period was some of the most exciting, intense action seen throughout the playoffs. The two rivals played incredible contests throughout the year, and with advancement on the line, a 1-0 series deficit weren’t in anybody’s agendas. Whether it be some big, physical blows or incredible stops by either goalie, there was no shortage of action. Blades goalie Daniel Mannella was the real star in the opening period, making incredible saves early on.

The Blades had a scary moment with just over three minutes remaining in the period. While rushing down the ice on a partial breakaway, Ryan Burns was slightly tripped by a Patriots defenceman, sending Burns hard into the end boards. Fortunately for Burns, who missed six of the seven games in the first round after hitting his head in a similar fashion, he was able to re-gather himself and stick in for the rest of the game, a huge benefit for the club.

The Patriots came out hungry in the second period, and it paid off well early on. With two minutes off the board, Jeremy Pullara scored the first goal of the series after picking up his own rebound for the 1-0 goal. The goal came after a minute of constant pressure from the home club, forcing Mannella to make huge stops right out of the change room.

Unfortunately for Oakville, Ryan Burns’ night would come to a quick end in the second. The game was getting heated at both ends of the ice, and Burns would be the first to earn a game misconduct after hitting a Patriot from behind while on the attack. The Blades would go down an extra man later in the period when defenceman Paul Butler was given a gross misconduct following a scuffle behind the Blades net.

The second period saw no additional scoring, but the third one went in the favour of the Patriots. On Oakville’s 14th penalty of the game, Marcus Rose took advantage of the extra man by rifling it over Mannella’s arm to secure the two goal lead. Despite the goal against, Mannella was easily the star of the contest, making 27 saves to keep Oakville in the game for all 60 minutes. Unfortunately, his performance was not enough to help lead the Blades over Toronto, who was able to take the 2-0 victory to start off the playoff series.

The two teams will return to Sixteen Mile Sports Complex in Oakville for game two of the series this Monday at 7:30pm. We hope to see you there!



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