Oakville Blades’ Mannella Stands Tall, but Patriots Take 3-1 Victory

2015 OJHL Play-Offs; Oakville Blades - 1; Toronto Patriots - 2, Round 2, Game 3

Ontario Junior Hockey League game action between the Toronto Lakeshore Patriots and the Oakville Blades. Game number 1 of the Semi-Finals series. Quinn Syrydiuk #52 of the Toronto Patriots battles for the puck with Daniel Mannella #35 of the Oakville Blades during the third period.
Oakville Blades’ Mannella Stands Tall, but Patriots Take 3-1 Victory

The Oakville Blades find themselves in a hole heading into game four following a 3-1 loss to the Toronto Patriots on Tuesday night.

The Blades found themselves in a hole early in the contest. Speedy Nico Gonzalez gave the Patriots the 1-0 lead seven minutes into the battle, when he managed to break past two Oakville defensemen before beating Daniel Mannella with the deke. The goal came after about a minute of persistent Oakville pressure, and despite the goal against, momentum still looked to be on Oakville’s side.

The Patriots were able to take the 2-0 lead just a few minutes after. 2015 NHL Draft prospect Jacob Hayhurst doubled Toronto’s lead after skating down into the Oakville zone with quick speed and sending a wrist shot short-side on Mannella, grabbing the 2-0 lead as a result.

The Blades appeared to have gotten a goal back with under two minutes to go in the period, but unfortunately for Oakville, luck wasn’t on their side. With Marcus Rose in the box for high sticking Brandon Hughes, Matt Lippa sent the puck over to Hughes, who batted the puck out of the air and past Mat Robson. The goal was waved off almost immediately after due to Lippa knocking the net off its moorings accidentally on the follow through of the pass. This resulted in Oakville heading to the change room without a goal.

The Blades were hit with two more heartbreakers during the second. Early on in the period, it was determined that special team specialist Josh Kosack would miss the remainder of the game due to a suspected concussion. Not too long after, Sean Kohler took two penalties in the same play, resulting in a four minute minor after it was all said and done. The Blades did a good job at killing off the penalty, but near the closing stages of the PK, Jeremy Pullara tipped one past Mannella for the Patriots’ third goal of the match.

The third period got very heated in what turned out to be a penalty-filled 20 minutes. The real action surrounded Oakville’s Vince Palermo and Toronto’s Quinn Syrydiuk, who went after each other every single time they touched the ice. Despite the distractions in front, Mannella was at the top of his game, once again proving why he’s one of the league’s top goaltenders every single night.

With five minutes to go, the Blades made one last attempt to get one past Robson. Playing with a three man advantage at points, the team struggled to create much in terms of offence on the power-play. Fortunately for Oakville, Ryan Garvey was able to pot one from Christian Rajic in the final minute of the game, ending Robson’s shutout with less than a minute left to play. Unfortunately, the goal meant little in the final standings, as the Patriots managed to hold on for the 3-1 victory to take the 2-1 lead in the series.

The series will head back to Oakville on Friday after a two day break, with the Blades hoping to tie the series up at two back at home. Hope to see you at Sixteen Mile Sports Complex at 7:30pm!


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