BRANTFORD – The Brantford Blast of the Allan Cup Sr Hockey League got the new season off on the right foot with a 7-1 pulverizing of the Welland Whalers at the Brantford Civic Centre Friday night.
It only took 58 seconds for Brandon Dietrich to put the Blast one goal ahead with a quick release on a pass out from behind the Welland net from Joel Prpic.
Mark Taylor converted an almost a mirror image goal with a pass out from behind the net.
Drew Minor scored Welland’s only goal of the game at 5:48 high to the glove side of Brantford goaltender Brett Leggat.
At 17:50, Mike Burgoyne fed a perfect stretch pass to Chris Leveille to put him in all alone on Welland goaltender Aaron Miller. Mike Bloomfield also added an assist on the play.
Playing coach Burgoyne recorded this year’s first power play goal for the Blast at 19:10 of the period with a laser wrist shot from the point into the top corner to end the first 20 minutes with Brantford leading, 4-1.
John Jankus made it 5-1 at 12:41 of the second period assisted by Mark Taylor and Leggat, with Taylor supporting that up to 6-1 at 14:17 from Kevin Baker and Ryan Healy.
With the game well in hand, the Blast put it in cruise control for the third period. Mike Ruberto put the last Brantford goal in the net at 4:49 of the third.
Brantford’s 2014 edition looks very similar to the 2012-13 Blast which finished in first place after the regular season last year. There are only a few new faces around the dressing room and, on paper anyhow, it looks like the 2013-14 Blast have to be considered this year’s favourites.
The team to watch out for is the Dundas Real McCoys who are hosting this year’s Allan Cup Championship and will likely load up with ex-NHL or European hockey talent late in the season. Even if they miss, as the host team, they get a free pass into the national championship play offs, whether they finish first in the ACH or not.
Team General Manager and President Peter Ham is very pleased with his team’s chances this year, especially with so many returning stars.
But that is still a long way off and a lot can happen before then. In the meantime, New Credit’s Cam Sault has another game to rest after suffering a knee surgery in the off season.
In appreciation to the Blast fans, the game jerseys from the home opener were raffled off in a silent auction with proceed going tom the Brantford Military Museum on Greenwich Street in Brantford where there is a special section dedicated to First Nations Warriors of all wars.