Raiders Nudge Blades in Series Opener

Jack Jeffers takes a shot during the first period of game one between Oakville and Georgetown.
Raiders Nudge Blades in Series Opener

For the first time in the 2017 OJHL playoffs, the Oakville Blades will head into their next game trailing following a 5-4 loss to the Georgetown Raiders in game one of the Southwest Conference finals.

The Raiders, who gave up three of their five losses on the season to Oakville, scored first just 35 seconds in. Jonathan Hampton would put the home team up by one after jamming around the net, eventually picking off a rebound off Brendan McGlynn before getting the 1-0 goal.

Despite some good chances by the Blades, Georgetown would take a 2-0 lead. Hampton would get his second goal of the contest after former Blade Ryan Takamatsu sent a pass in front, with Hampton wiring it past McGlynn glove side to make it 2-0.

The game would get a little rough, with Peyton Reeves and Griffin James dropping the mitts early in the second. The energy from the scuffle translated into a goal for the Blades, so Oakville didn’t mind the rough stuff. At 7:55 in the second, Garrett Pyke, who moved around between forward and defence during his OJHL rookie season, kept on a scramble in front and knocked in a loose puck past Josh Astorino, putting the Blades on the board and cutting the deficit to one.

The Blades were looking for a clutch goal to tie the game up at two, and Ryan Foss was there to save the day. Foss, the former OHLer with 11 points in 10 games coming into the contest, scored from the side of the net just after receiving a pass from Bryce Misley, making it 2-2 in what was turning out to be a very intense contest.

Crashing the net seemed to be the right thing to do in this game, but unfortunately for Oakville, it didn’t work in their favour. With under five minutes to go in the second, Josh Dickinson fought off a defensive push-back by Oakville to jam home the 3-2 goal, giving the Raiders their lead back.

It only took 1:03 for the Blades to tie the game up in the third period. On their first chance of the period, Bryce Misley dropped the puck to fellow offensive dynamo Jackson Bales, who fired the shot below Astorino’s blocker to make it 3-3.

But less than a minute later, Georgetown would take the lead back. Hampton would complete the hat-trick after taking a Takamatsu pass and shooting it in close, making it 4-3 for the Raiders.

With just over half of the period still to go, the Raiders opened their lead further. This time, Matt McJannet was there to grab the rebound from just outside the hashmarks, sending it top corner and extending the lead.

Oakville wasn’t done just yet. With 1:03 left in the game, Christian Rajic set up Chris Brill-Morgan in the slot, with the strong power-forward firing a wicked slap shot on net. The puck hit Astorino and barely trickled over the goal line, giving Oakville a late goal. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough for Oakville to get back in the game, with Georgetown taking the 5-4 victory to win game one.

Game two will take place in Georgetown again this Saturday, an 8:00 PM start. Hope to see a lot of Blades fans in attendance!


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