For the teams who pay attention to the strict no-forgiveness rule infractions in the early going of the Provincial Junior A Hockey League, life is going to be pretty good.
Monday night at the Dave Andreychuk Mountain Arena, the Hamilton Junior Red Wings were better listeners than their guests, the Oakville Blades. And that explains why Hamilton scored four power play goals, three of them with a two-man advantage, and beat the Blades 5-2.
Oakville seemed to struggle with the tight officiating, especially in the second period when the Red Wings scored three goals and took full control of the game.Oakville took eight of the 11 penalties called in the sandwich frame and they led to two of the three goals.
“The refs are going to make you pay for it,” offered Hamilton coach John McDonald, whose team improved their record to 2-1-1. Red Wings and the Blades played to a 2-2 stalemate on Friday in Oakville.
Scoring for the Red Wings Monday night were rookie Wes Consorti, who also had a pair of assists for a three point night in a strong game; Frankie Grandits, who had a pair of goals; Spencer Abbott, a goal and an assist; and Anthony Ruberto, with one marker. Steve Mullin and defenseman Josh Van Dyk contributed a pair of helpers. Oakville got its goals from Julian Cimadamore, who assisted on Paul Conter’s counter.
Oakville took the brunt of the infractions, 19-13, and in the second period ran up six straight. Against an experienced team such as Hamilton, that’s a fatal mistake. “Our older guys stepped up tonight,” said McDonald, adding that his charges stuck to a game plan of relentless forechecking.
The Red Wings also got a solid effort from 19-year-old goaltender Cameron Talbot, who faced 22 Oakville shots. I think he’s the best in the league. He’s like a little general back there, always directing players,” said McDonald. “He plays with poise and confidence.” He certainly couldn’t be faulted for the two Oakville goals with came within the final seven minutes of the game.
Sitting on a 5-0, McDonald opted to give some of his younger players more ice time and the opportunity wasn’t lost on the Blades. “I played the younger guys and they did some things they shouldn’t have.”
One of those younger players is goaltender Erik Crawford, He didn’t see any action Monday night but he will on Saturday night when the Bramalea Blues visit the Mountain Arena. Crawford saw duty on Sunday in Streetsville where the Red Wings fell 4-3 to the Derbys.
“Mike just needs to get some confidence,” said McDonald. That could come at 7.30 p.m. Saturday.