When the Dundas Real McCoys and Brantford Blast square off on Friday (Oct. 26) at the Civic Centre in Brantford, it could be a sneak preview of an early spring championship showdown. After only three weeks of hockey played in Major League Hockey, these two clubs have stepped up to elite status among the five-team division.
The McCoys, after a loss at home two weeks ago, have come back with two very impressive wins and now sit in second place with three wins and one loss in four games. They trail only Brantford, who won their first four match ups of the season, including three on home ice. Both the Blast and McCoys have loaded up their rosters for a chance to represent the MLH at the 100th Allan Cup Championship, which takes place in mid April at Brantford.
The two teams are first and second in every major category in the league, including individual scorers, which sees Chad Spurr of the Blast on top with six goals and eleven points. The McCoys’ Mike Kennedy is right behind with four goals and eight points.
Kennedy scored all four of his goals last Friday, when Dundas cruised to a 4-0 win over the Petrolia Squires. The one-time Toronto Maple Leaf, in what was a dominant display, scored a pair in both the first and third periods, two of which were on the power play. The goaltending of Sean Hall was also spectacular, as he turned aside all 27 Squires’ shots sent his way, including a pair of scintillating saves on a breakaway and a penalty shot.
The win came on the heels of a 4-2 road victory over the Tillsonburg Vipers the previous Sunday. Ryan Christie picked up a pair of goals in that one, while Todd Harvey scored a shorthanded tally, for his first in a Real McCoys’ jersey.
The Brantford Blast have rolled through opponents so far, outscoring the opposition 21-4 in their first four contests, until finally being beat 3-2 last Sunday afternoon in Windsor by an inspired Saints team. Much of that success can be attributed to the brilliance of goaltender Anthony Marshall. Marshall has posted a 0.98 goals against average in all four starts and has two shutouts. Along with Spurr up front, the Blast can send out a bevy of offensive weapons. Newcomer Scott Sheppard has six points in his three appearances so far, while returnees Wayne Muir and last season’s leading goal scorer, Tyler Pelton, offer tremendous support.
Much like the Blast, the Real McCoys success starts between the pipes. Hall has been sensational in his three starts, allowing only five goals and posting one shutout. The Dundas offence hasn’t exploded yet, but it has all the ammunition to do so. Led by former pros Kennedy, Harvey, Christie and Todd Hlushko, there may not be a more dangerous group on Senior Ontario ice.
The first meeting between these two outstanding hockey teams may be on Friday, but don’t be surprised if it isn’t the beginning of a title chase rivalry that extends into April, with the league crown and the Allan Cup hanging in the balance.