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Blades Drop Game Three of the Centennial Cup

OAKVILLE, ON - MAY 13: Goaltender Gavin McCarthy #74 of the Oakville Blades and Trent Penner #11 of the Winkler Flyers both watch the play during the third period at the Sixteen Mile Sports Complex on May 13, 2024 in Ontario, Canada (Photo by Ray MacAloney / OJHL Images)

By Ty Brooks


It was hard to watch as the clock ran down into the final minutes of regulation, especially when the Winkler Flyers potted two empty net goals. Despite 24 shots on net, no goals were scored by the host team, and the Flyers picked up their second victory of the tournament and pushed Oakville to a 1-2 record. This significantly slims down the hopes of the Blades to make it past the round-robin portion of the Centennial Cup.


There were a couple lineup changes, as defencemen #55 Luke Allison and #28 Jackson Rutherford drew back into the lineup. As well, #74 Gavin McCarthy was given his crease back.


In the end, the Oakville Blades would be shut out by the Winkler Flyers in a game that was 2-0 until the dying minutes. The two teams appeared even in the first period, posting almost identical shot totals, but after that, the game began to slip away from the host club. After pulling their goalie around the 2:30 minute mark, they would let in two empty netters, which sealed the deal at the Sixteen Mile Sports Complex.


Player of the Game for Oakville was co-captain #74 Gavin McCarthy, who recorded a .926 SV% against one of the stronger teams playing at this tournament. Although no goals were scored among them, the Blades still had a couple players who played solid hockey in this contest. Defencemen #44 Smallegange and #28 Rutherford had exceptionally strong games in their own zone and led breakouts well. Among the forwards, co-captain Sean Clarke stood out for his hard work in all three zones and set the standard for his team in this game.


This is definitely a game they’d like to put behind them, but rather, it should serve as a reminder that the whole team needs to buy in if they want to win hockey games at the highest level of Jr. A hockey.


The next game is Wednesday, May 15th, at 7:30 PM vs. the Melfort Mustangs, champions of the SJHL.