Oakville Blades Tackle Panthers 6-5 in Rough Sunday Match-Up

Oakville Blades celebrating on the ice
Oakville Blades Tackle Panthers 6-5 in Rough Sunday Match-Up

There was no shortage of drama during a rare Oakville Blades Sunday home game, with the Blades taking the 6-5 victory over the Pickering Panthers in a rough and tumble contest.

The first ten minutes didn’t feature the high scoring action the Blades had become accustomed to throughout the month of October, but that didn’t stop them from scoring the game’s first goal. With 8:39 left in the opening period, Ryan Garvey’s shot didn’t exactly cross the line, but Eric Holland was quick enough to beat out Pickering netminder Paul Giusti with the tap in at the point to make it 1-0 Blades.

Then, with about five minutes to go, the same line proved to be successful once again. This time, Garvey would set up the rush after sending the puck out to Eric Holland at the Pickering blue line. Holland then set up Jackson Bales, who went in all alone and deked out Giusti on the breakaway, giving the Blades the 2-0 lead.

Oakville’s bid at a shutout ended early, unfortunately. Davis Kuksis would get credit after converting on a point shot rebound to cut the lead to just one goal heading into the intermission.

With five minutes off the clock in the second, the Blades managed to regain their two goal lead. Ryan Foss, who recently signed with the Blades after a stint in the QMJHL, took a quick wrist shot from the high slot, with Peterbourgh Petes prospect Bryce Misley getting the tip on the play to give Oakville the 3-1 lead. The goal came at a cost, however, as a skirmish after the play resulted in a Pickering power-play directly after the two goal advantage was awarded.

With the game half over, the Panthers were able to force themselves back into the game. John Hudgin would be the lucky player for the visiting team, converting a tic-tac-toe play into Pickering’s second goal of the game.

Penalties would be the story of the game, with the Blades taking nine penalties before Pickering’s tying goal. It would be the same crew putting the puck in the net, with Hudgin instead getting the puck to Tiger McDonald, who put the puck top corner for the 3-3 goal.

Oakville was faced with a tough situation with five minutes left in the second. While racing for a puck in the offensive zone, Kuksis would shove Drew Worrad’s head hard into the glass, injuring the Blades star in the process. Worrad would have to leave the game, but on the ensuing power-play, Tyler Rollo made sure to make his teammate proud by scoring the go-ahead goal on a tough angle.

The penalty bug was doing even more damage for the Panthers, and the red-hot Oakville power-play would find a way to take advantage of that with four minutes off the clock in the third. Josh Kosack would be the worthy recipient after tipping in a shot by Christian Rajic, giving the Blades the 5-3 lead.

With two players in the box for each team, the Panthers would score a shorthanded goal to make it 5-4 with 14 minutes left in the game. Tiger McDonald would get the goal after turning a drop pass into a hard wrist shot that Brendan McGlynn couldn’t stop. Then, with 9:24 left, Chris Sekelyk tied things up for Pickering for the first time, meaning that the physical affair would be tied heading into the home stretch.

The penalty minutes continued to rack up, with Oakville finishing with 63 and Pickering sitting for 59. The amount of power-play’s ended up making the game tied at the knot heading into the intermission, giving the fans some extra hockey to get excited for. Almost on cue, the Blades got a goal from the player who seems to always find the back of the net in clutch situations, Ryan Garvey. Garvey, the same forward who got the game winning goal against the Orangeville Flyers in game seven of the first round playoff series last year, came in on an odd man rush before roofing it over the Panthers goalie, giving Oakville the 6-5 win.

With the win, the Blades still only have one loss for the month of October, a 7-5 decision to the Toronto Jr. Canadiens last Sunday. Oakville will return to Sixteen Mile Sports Complex for their next game this coming Friday for a game against Orangeville, with the puck set to drop at 7:30pm. Hope to see you there!


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