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Blast flattens Dunlops – bring on the McCoys

BRANTFORD – A strong third period ended a seesaw battle at the Brantford and District Civic Centre, Friday night in Game 6 of the Allan Cup Hockey league semi-finals.

BRANTFORD – A strong third period ended a seesaw battle at the Brantford and District Civic Centre, Friday night in Game 6 of the Allan Cup Hockey league semi-finals.

It also ended the series as Brantford poured it on with three third period goals, one into an empty net, for the 8-5 final score.

Waiting in the wings are the Dundas Real McCoys who swept the Stoney Creek Generals in four games straight.

The matchup in the final round for the Robertson Cup, as Ontario’s top Sr. AAA hockey club will be a barn burning series, which is the usual between these two teams.

The series begins Friday March 21st, in Dundas at 7:30 PM. Game #2 is Sunday March 23rd in Brantford at 2:00 PM and Game #3 is set for Friday March 28th back in Dundas at 7:30 PM. Game #4 is Sunday March 30th in Brantford at 2:00 PM.

Chris Leveille, Joel Prpic and Mike Burgoyne build a 3-0 lead by the halfway mark of the first period, but the Whitby Dunlops weren’t ready to throw in the towel and fought back with goals by Adam Van Dam and Brett McConnache.

The Blast restored a two goal margin when Cam Sault poked the puck off of a Whitby player’s stick and sent Chris Rebernik in alone on goal at 16:32 to make it 4-2.

Once again the Dunlops dug deep and came up with the final two goals of the period scored by Kyle Musselman and David Ross, who tied things up at 4-4 heading into the second frame.
The teams traded goals in the second to remain tied at 5-5 with 20 minutes left to play.

Brett Leggat, who played an average first two periods was unbeatable in the third as the Blast power offense took over.

Jon Jankus scored what would turn out to be the game winner at 2:03. Whitby poured it on throughout the rest of the period but could not beat Leggat. Then, with 3 minutes remaining, Rebernik was set up by Sault with a perfect cross ice pass which Rebernik buried behind Ryan Gibb in the Dunlops goal.

The icing was put on the cake with Prpic’s empty netter, shorthanded. Leggat moved the puck up to Chadd Spurr who went in on the empty net with Prpic on his left wing. Spurr could easily have scored it himself, but instead dished it off to Prpic for his hat trick goal with 15 seconds remaining.

Throughout the second half of the season and especially in the playoffs Six Nations’ Cameron Sault has been the Blast’s most consistent forward making things happen every shift, every game.

He has been averaging a point a game in the playoffs and capped the Whitby series off with two assists, and several very good scoring opportunities.

“That’s hockey at its finest,” said Sault after the tense and hard-hitting game. “In the playoffs everybody has to give that extra push.”

Sault missed the first part of the season recovering from knee surgery, but once he got his legs back under him, he has just gotten better every game, and Friday night he saw a lot of ice in the win.

“The knee’s feeling good, I’m feeling good,” he says. “I’m now on the powerplay and I’m getting a lot of ice-time.”

He centres the line of Rebernik and Leveille, which accounted for three of the Blast’s goals.

“I’ve played with and against both of those guys before and we are having nothing but success,” said Sault, who is anticipating a very tough series against their 403 rivals from Dundas. “Especially when we were down two games last year and came back to win it,” he said. “It’s going to be a hell of a battle this time.”

Joel Prpic led the Blast with three goals and three assists, while the Sault line accumulated eight points in the Brantford win.

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Jim Windle

Jim Windle

Jim Windle is a veteran news and sports reporter who has been published in a number of mediums and publications. contact Jim: windlejim@rocketmail.com

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