Two games into the second round of the playoffs against the Oakville Blades, the Hamilton Red Wings learned a valuable lesson about how being aggressive often leads to positive results.
In Friday’s 3-2 loss, Hamilton stopped doing what was successful for them, became passive and got burned in a third period collapse. On Monday, they faced a near carbon copy of events as game one; tied after one, up by a goal after two. Even though they started to slip in the second period, the Wings were able to re-discover their energy of the opening frame and as a result the floodgates opened late for a 6-1 victory.
The first period was highly entertaining in terms of pace, energy and physical play but little developed offensively.
After a scoreless opening frame, Hamilton started the second period on the power play. The Wings struggled a bit initially with the man advantage but would strike with a few seconds left on the power play. With Hamilton enjoying the first two power plays of the game, one knew things would quickly even out.
On a power play, Oakville’s Chase Langeraap muscled his way to a rebound and flipped it over the Red Wings goaltender to tie the game. The game remained tied for about five minutes before Hamilton took the lead for good. Van Dyk hit Wes Consorti with a pass; Consorti quickly fired a bullet under the Blades cross bar.
Hamilton entered the third period up a goal, just like the prior game. However, this time, Hamilton went back on the attack, controlling the puck and being relentless.
After a couple of close calls, Hamilton got a much-needed insurance goal from Chris Dunsmuir. Mike Galbraith, positioned in the slot re-directed it by Matt Hoyle for a two-goal cushion. From there, Hamilton began to dominate the play and put this one well out of reach.
The playoffs continue on Tuesday night in Oakville.