PARIS – The time clock seemed to be the only thing preventing the Southwest Cyclops and the Ohsweken Demons from battling all night as they see-sawed back and forth, rarely with either team owning more than a one goal lead.
Thirty-one goals later, the Ohsweken Demons eked out a hard fought 16-15 win to improve their season record to 4-5-0-0. Although in fourth place in a five-team league, they made themselves assured of a playoff berth by all but eliminating the Cyclops from the post-season race. The Demons have one game left in the season while the Cyclops have three, however, they are all against teams with much better records.
There was no opportunity to slack off even one shift for anyone all night long as the ebbs and flows of the game were enough to make a sailor seasick. It did, however, make for a highly entertaining game and a nail-biter right down to the final shot.
It didn’t start out to be a particularly high scoring game at 2-2 after the first quarter, but began opening up in the second with the Southwest Cyclops holding an 8-7 edge at the half.
The importance of the game for both teams was now compressed to the next 30 minutes, but the lid blew off the steamer in the third quarter as the goals began coming in bunches. Tom Montour closed the quarter with the Demons leading 12-10.
After Ian Martin gave the Demons a three-goal margin with a diving shot past Grant Crawley very early in the third, it looked like that would be all for the Cyclops. But no. Backs pressed firmly against the wall, the Cyclops pushed back with four straight goals to take the lead back 14-13.
This time it was the Demons having to pull together whatever energy was left in the tank if they were going to win. Vaughn Harris is credited with the tying goal, however, it appeared to be Roger Vyse’s goal. Either way, the game was tied again.
Tommy Montour’s fourth goal of the night came seconds later when he broke towards the Southwest net and received a point perfect, rink length pass from goalie Jake Lazor to take the 15-14 lead with 5:18 remaining.
Scott Defrancesco pumped up the large Cyclops Arena crowd again with his shorthanded goal to pull even at 15-15, with 2:10 remaining in regulation time.
Wayne VanEvery dumped a one handed shovel pass over to Ian Martin who restored the slim Demons’ lead to 16-15 with 1:08 left to play in a game where one minute would seem like forever to one team and far to fast for the other.
As it tuned out, the Demons lead held to the final buzzer with first star of the game, Tommy Montour (4G,3A), in possession of the ball.
Also having big nights were Demons’ Ian Martin (4G,1A), Wayne VanEvery (4G, 1A), and Vaughn Harris (2G, 2A). For Southwest, Jordan Dance (4G, 2A), Pat Corbett (3G), and Spencer Pyke 2G) led the offence.
The Demons will host the Niagara Lock Monsters Friday, Feb. 26th, at the ILA beginning at 7:30, while the Cyclops face off against the Durham Turfdogs in Durham.