BRANTFORD – The work ethic of Cameron Sault of Six Nations/New Credit heritage, is paying off for the Brantford Blast as they take another serious run at the Allan Cup. But first, there is the Robertson Cup, which goes to the top Sr. team in Ontario, which is where the battle lines are drawn at this time between themselves and last year’s Allan Cup winning Dundas Real McCoys.
The Blast are down 3-1 in the series, and put it all on the line Tuesday night in Brantford.
The Blast have been winners of the Robertson Cup for the past two seasons but have not hoisted the Allan Cup since 2008.
It was do or die for the Blast on Tuesday in Game #5 at the Brantford and District Civic Centre following the Dundas Real McCoys’ 6-3 win on Sunday in Dundas to take a strangle hold on the series. Unfortunately, results from Tuesday night’s game were not available by press time.
Friday night at the Brantford and District Civic Centre, the Blast got back into the series after dropping games #1 and #2.
Mike Burgoyne wired a shot from the slot after the Blast controlled the puck in the Dundas zone, passing around the perimeter to open the scoring.
Sault took a pass from Mark Taylor at the McCoys’ blue line and took a couple of strides towards Mike Mole in the Dundas net and saw a hole, blasting it in at 8:42 of the first period for a 2-0 lead.
The McCoys’ Jeff White got Dundas into the game at 15:50 when he snuck in from the blue line into an unprotected piece of real estate 20 feet in front of Brett Leggat in the Brantford goal. He loaded up and launched a rocket past Leggat to make it 2-1.
But the tenacity of Sault along the wall freed up the puck, which he delivered to Chris Rebernik on the edge of the crease to make it 3-1, late in the second period.
In the third period while short handed, Sault, who was named first star of the game, was sent in all alone on a breakaway all the way from centre ice by Caister and lifted a back hander past Mole at 8:58 of the third for the final goal of the game.
The Blast needed that win after losing 5-4 in Game #1, Tuesday night and 4-1 in Dundas Friday night.
The Blast went with a skeleton bench of 13 skaters with Joel Prpic out for a suspension and others out of the lineup for various reasons, but as it turns out, the right 13 guys dressed for the win.
The Blast massively outshot the McCoys 33-10 after two periods, but Mole kept the game close with several great saves. In the third period,the ice slanted the other way as the McCoys outshot Brantford 12-4 and Leggat had to be sharp.
“Sunday night was without a doubt a tough one,” said Leggat. We put forth two great periods of hockey and just fell apart in the third. That being said, we have confidence that we can beat Dundas three straight, especially with two games in Brantford on the big ice where they can’t contain our speed. We just need to play our game. There’s not a guy in the room who doesn’t believe we are the better team and we can’t win this series. We’re looking forward to making that first step of getting back in the series on Tuesday night.”
The Blast had three players tied for the playoff scoring lead following Game #3, with Sault, Derek Mederios and defenseman Burgoyne sharing the spot, each with 12 points heading into Game #4.
Brantford lost Game #1 of the series at home 5-4, but it took OT for the McCoys to do it. Dundas led 2-0 before Brantford came alive to overtake the McCoys 3-2 by the end of the second period. In the third, Rebernik gave the Blast a two-goal edge from Sault and Leggat at 5:44.
Curtis Campbell drew the McCoys to within one at 9:35 and Brad Bonello evened the score at 4-4 at 19:12 to send the game into OT, where Cam Watson handed Dundas the win at 4:05 of the extra frame.
Thursday, in Dundas, the McCoys held a 2-0 edge until 2:11 of the third when Rebernik made it 2-1. The Blast were unable to build anything on that as Brad Bonello netted the last two goals of the game, the second into an empty net.