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Blades Centennial Cup Game Four Preview

By Ty Brooks

 

The only undefeated team left in Group B is the Melfort Mustangs, and they hold wins over every other team in the group (Miramichi, Winkler, and Sioux Lookout). They are now lining up against your Oakville Blades in order to try and clinch the #1 seed in Group B and gain an automatic bye into the semifinals. The Mustangs have proven to be an all-around strong team, and the Blades definitely have their work cut out for them.

 

What makes Melfort so strong is the team’s talent to be able to score from anywhere in the lineup. From first line to fourth line to defence, everyone contributes healthy point totals to the Mustangs wins. On top of that, they have multiple stars who tore up the SJHL regular season and playoffs and are now coming and displaying that same talent in the Centennial Cup. Names like F Aidyn Hutchinson, D Chase Friedt-Mohr, F Ryan Duguay, and their captain, D Leith Olafson, are some names that are particularly good on that squad.

 

Now for the Blades, we know what this team is like. When this team is firing, they can compete among some of the better teams at this tournament. Despite that, they had rough games 1 and 3, making the outlook for the rest of the Centennial Cup not so favourable. That means expect some lineup changes, especially considering the following reasons:.

 

Firstly, Melfort is an old and experienced team; they know how to play the game the right way, so it would be wise to make sure that our lineup can compete with that. Second, one of the Blades more consistent physical and forechecking presences, Jack Churchill, has served his suspension handed out to him during the OJHL playoffs and is now eligible to return to this lineup. Third, and perhaps the reason we’d all least like to think about but cannot ignore, is that this could very well be the last game this team plays at the Centennial Cup. Therefore, the lineup should include any 20-year-old players who will no longer have junior hockey eligibility after this game as a final send-off.

 

Here’s a list of everyone who is 20 or 21 years old and will have their last game of eligibility tonight:

  • Noah Tyrrell
  • Aidan Taylor
  • Jeriah Shantz “A”
  • Max Donohoe “A”
  • Dawson Doner
  • Sean Clarke “C”
  • Eric Bonsteel “A”
  • Gavin McCarthy “C”

 

Blades fans, don’t come out for this game, come out for the players who are likely playing their last junior hockey game ever. Support them, and be a part of their last stand as members of the Oakville Blades. This organization doesn’t get anywhere near where it is today without the names listed above, and they deserve a big thank you from us.

 

We hope to see you all tonight.