When the Dundas Real McCoys and Windsor Saints hit the ice this weekend, in a home-and-home showdown, they might want to look into a crystal ball to search for clues on how to beat each other.
The Real McCoys and Saints have journeyed through the first few months of the Major League Hockey season in very similar fashion. They sit second and third in the five-team division, with Windsor having one more victory in slot number two. Both clubs boast a better than impressive home record, with the Saints winning six of eight in their building, while the Real McCoys have won five of eight at J.L. Grightmire Arena and also earning a single point in a pair of overtime losses, one via shootout.
But success at home hasn’t followed them on the road. Dundas is 3-4 on the road, while Windsor has a near identical record of 3-4-0-1 away. The similarities don’t end there: The second place Saints have scored 57 goals this season and the third place Real McCoys have 58; Windsor has surrendered 50 goals against, Dundas 53; Real McCoys players have sat in the penalty box for 339 minutes and the Saints skaters have totaled 336 penalty minutes. The two teams have faced each other three times so far this season, with the Real McCoys winning two of three, outscoring the Saints by a meager 13-12 margin and each club capturing victories on their own ice surface.
When the two face off, tonight (Friday, Dec. 14) with a matchup in Dundas, followed by a return date on Sunday in Windsor, they will be doing so as the past two league champions. They will also put on the ice two of the most talented clubs in all of Senior A Hockey. The McCoys own four of the top 10 scorers in the MLH, while the Saints have three on that list. Mike Kennedy leads the way for Dundas and the league with 11 goals and 25 points. Ryan Christie, with 12 goals sits eighth in league scoring, while Todd Hlushko and Todd Harvey follow in ninth and tenth.
Jason Dixon is the most dangerous among Windsor forwards, sitting second in the league with 23 points, while Ryan Caicco follows in third position with 21 points. Erik Stone, leading the league with 13 goals, is sixth in points with 18.
This weekend will go a long way in determining which of these two teams can elevate themselves to the top of the MLH mountain, where currently the Brantford Blast stand alone.
The Real McCoys are coming off of a dominant 8-3 home win over the Tillsonburg Vipers last Sunday, which snapped a four-game losing streak. Newcomer Nick Smith led the way with a pair of goals and an assist in his McCoys home debut. Christie and Rob DeCiantis also pitched in with three-point efforts.
The Saints earned a pair of wins over Petrolia last weekend, including a 2-1 triumph at home in overtime on Sunday.