“One game does not a season make” is a popular quote tossed around in sporting circles. And in most cases, it’s 100 percent accurate. However, in a 32-game sprint of a season that is the Major League Hockey schedule, the points are just as valuable in October as they are in January. So when the Dundas Real McCoys defeated the Windsor Saints, 5-3, last Friday night, to kickoff their 2007-08 campaign it was certainly a significant victory in game number one.
Not only was it the right way to begin the new era behind the bench, with the reformation of the successful Ontario Senior AAA coaching duo of Ken Mann and Don Robertson, but it was an opportunity to prove that the McCoys are back to contend for a league championship once again. With the historic, 100th edition of the Allan Cup being played in Brantford in April, the two-goal victory over last season’s wire-to-wire regular season kings is just the first step in what Dundas hopes is a return march to glory in the MLH.
Returning several key players and boasting five former National Hockey League skaters, the McCoys’ top ranked offense soared out of the gate in the home opener.
Chris Wismer netted a pair of goals, including a power play marker, in a three goal first period outburst. Kevin Saville also tallied a goal with the man advantage in the first. However, the highly talented Saints answered each Dundas marker with a goal of their own and all three came off the stick of Erik Stone. Stone’s first period hat trick kept things tied after twenty minutes.
In the second stanza, Ryan Christie scored the eventual game winner at the 4:15 mark. The McCoys then rode the hot goaltending of newcomer Sean Hall, and a third period lamp lighter from Frank Grandits, to a home opening triumph.
Hall made 30 saves to pick up the win, while Todd Hlushko, Mike Kennedy and the always reliable Paul Lawson each added two assists.
The McCoys’ special teams were also impressive in the season debut, finishing two-for-seven on the power play and erasing nine out often shorthanded situations.
Up next for the Dundas Real McCoys is a weekend double dip with the always formidable Tillsonburg Vipers. The first of two kicks off on Friday (Oct. 12), when the McCoys’ play host to the Vipers at JL Grightmire Memorial Arena, before a return date set for Sunday October 14th, back in Tillsonburg.
The Vipers arguably possess Major League Hockey’s most dangerous offensive weapon in Brad Wilkins. Wilkins led the league in scoring last season with twelve goals and 56 assists in only 29 games. They also carry two of the top offensive blue liners around, in Mike Shewan and Brad Streib. The duo combined for 24 goals and 67 points a season ago.