By Jesse Ferguson
A late game Sunday– which the lateness was lamented over by some patrons and questioned by all, although there must be some logical reason why 8PM was chosen– found the Brantford Blast at home for a game 2 showdown versus the Dundas Real McCoys at Civic Centre.
Brantford went on the road Friday and came up with a big win 6-2 in Dundas. It is a five-game series, so the pressure was on Dundas Sunday or they would face the unlikelihood of reeling off three straight games to clinch the series.
And Dundas played that way throughout the first, outshooting Brantford 12-6, as the ice was severely tilted towards Brantford’s net. Midway through the first Dundas looked like they would get on the board first. Brantford Blast goalie Ryan DeMelo made a good save but the rebound went right into the slot, Dundas found the post, flush, and then the Blast keeper made another fine save to keep things scoreless.
It appeared that despite the late start tonight, that Brantford was even later coming to the party.
Then, Brantford got fortunate again in a big way as Dundas advanced on a dangerous rush. The first shot DeMelo got most of but couldn’t contain it. It fell loose at his blocker side. However, the referee, positioned in the opposite corner, could not see the loose puck on the opposite side of DeMelo and blew the play dead just as the Real McCoy forward was depositing the loose change into the net. Saved by the errant whistle!
And with that, Brantford somehow survived the first period, as the score 0-0 was not at all indicative of the play.
At two and a half into the second, it was Brantford on the counter attack, in fact attacking, and the rush found Jared Konkle whom slapped it in the awning cage. Assists were drawn by Evan McGrath and Timothy Kennedy. After a weak first period, Brantford was somehow winning the game!
Very quickly, Dundas tried to avenge this but DeMelo stood his ground. After making a great save, he knocked the puck straight up into the air, which was concerning, but it was cleared by the defence.
With teams evenly battling the rest of the period, with two and a half to play, this same forward line who scored the goal, won the offensive draw on a scramble play. As the puck pinballed around, a broken stick blade may have distracted the Dundas keeper and the puck found Kennedy who had an open cage. This line all tallied their second points of the night.
With that, it was 2-0 Blast at the end of two.
With Dundas’s season virtually hanging in the balance down 2-0 in the game and 1-0 in the series, they should play the third period throwing the kitchen sink at Brantford. However, it did not matter. DeMelo played solid with great positioning, turning away 35 shots earning the shutout.
Cam Fergus iced the game with an empty net goal from almost his own goalline! A nice cap to a nice game for Brantford. Despite a lacklustre start, 3-0 they earned the win.
Next game is Friday in Dundas, where the Blast can close things out in the series! With a win, they advance to the championship, where this franchise has quite the championship pedigree…