By Ty Brooks
Your Oakville Blades played Friday and Saturday matchups at the Sixteen Mile Sports Complex looking to potentially break the 3 loss slump. The 2nd match was the annual Spooktacular Halloween Costume Contest! The fans showed up to the game against the Toronto Patriots with their best costumes on and were able to catch a high scoring game too!
Oct. 27th vs Mississauga Chargers
Blades Top Players:
Christensen 31/33 SVS .939 SV%
Johnston 1G, 1A
Many fans have seen or heard about the 3 game losing streak the Blades went through, and were hoping for a return to form this weekend. While the team has played better games, a return to form was what the fans got. In a strong win over the Mississauga Chargers, the league’s biggest team pushed out a 4-2 victory which included 50 shots on net! Through a good mix of discipline, defence and going to the net, Oakville easily snapped out of the losing skid and showed the potency of their top forward lines.
The first period was as even as the game would be throughout 60 minutes. Just one penalty was called, and each side scored a goal. Oakville’s goal came at 12:30 of the 1st period off a flaming hot stick wielded by Matthew Indovina. The rookie now sits at 5 goals and 8 points in his last 5 games played, earning more of the trust of the coaching staff with every passing game. As he climbs his way further up into the lineup, he finds the team veterans who notched the teams’ next 3 goals in this matchup.
We saw 2 of those goals come in the 2nd period, at 9:28 and 17:56 by the hands of two of the alternate captains in Eric Bonsteel and Luke Johnston. The Bonsteel goal was a result of a crafty passing play where co-captain Sean Clarke would send a no look drop pass just past a couple defenders to #4 who then finished the play with a nice five-hole shot. Closer to the end of the period, the Blades scored again but while on the man advantage this time.
While the goal credit goes to Johnston (in all fairness he was the one who put the puck in the net), the real reason this play was made possible was through the quick moving brain in Gleb Akimov’s head. When he got the puck along the left side just above the goal line, he knew he had Johnston waiting backdoor, but he also knew that the defender positioned in front of the net was ready to block that pass. Instead, he stopped up, faked a pass back up to the point man and the second that defender moved his stick out of the way wired a pass that required no extra effort from Johnston to tuck into the twine.
In the final frame, a period where the Blades outshot the Chargers 22-11, alternate captain Jacob Crisp raced down the ice to put home the insurance marker and make this a 4-2 hockey game. While it was a nice offensive performance, it should also be noted that rookie goaltender Mikkel Christensen has kept his strong performance rolling further into the season, recording 31 saves on 33 shots in this one and coming away with his 3rd win of the season.
Big team effort that you love to see, Blades are back in the win column!
Oct. 28th vs Toronto Patriots
Blades Top Players:
Churchill 1G, 2A
Clarke 1G, 2A
Akimov 1G, 2A
McCarthy 41/44 SVS .931 SV%
In the first of four matchups between these two squads throughout this season, the two teams put on a high scoring, action packed game for the special Halloween theme game. A combined 97 shots and 8 goals each scored by a different player, the OJHL talent was on full display.
It took both teams a while to get the scoring going, with the first 20 minutes being largely dominated by the goalies who together saved 35/36 shots fired against (split evenly at 18 a side) with the lone goal coming from Toronto on the first PK of the night for Oakville. After this period though, the goals came pouring in.
It took just 4 minutes for co-captain Sean Clarke to grab his 5th of the season after a beautiful pass around a defender from Akimov left Clarke by his lonesome on net, and he made no mistake in finishing his chance. Just another 3:28 later, the team was back at it, taking the lead for the first time after Max Donohoe cleaned up in front of the net for the go-ahead goal. While they did face a slight speed bump at 9:33, they got their lead right back at 14:56 off of a beautiful spin and shoot play from leading scorer Luke Johnston. The period would come to a close with the Blades leading 3-2 and a big 3rd period looming ahead.
In what was shot-wise a much more even period than the 2nd, the Patriots struck first to temporarily pull into the lead at Sixteen Mile Sports Complex at the start of the 3rd. Quick to respond was Jack Churchill off a 2-on-1 pass from Luke Johnston, bringing the Blades back into the lead, 4-3! As the final minutes rolled down, the Blades were able to hold strong and Gleb Akimov sealed the deal into the empty net to give the Blades a 4 point weekend!