Welcome back to the playoffs, Dundas Real McCoys.
After a rocky season a year ago, battling through injuries, goaltender auditions and being dispatched to the bottom of the league basement, the Real McCoys are back atop the Major League Hockey mountain. It took a fantastic finish for the McCoys to takeover the number one seed and keep it, winning their last six games and nine of their last 10. Included in that stretch was a six-game winning streak on the road, which is phenomenal considering the teams consistency, or lack thereof, to dress a full roster when playing away and the overall home records of all the clubs in MLH.
Also, during their incredible run to the top, came two impressive victories over both the Brantford Blast and the Windsor Saints, the two teams they needed to stave off to claim the number one seed for the playoffs.
“The guys worked hard for first place and deserve home ice for the playoffs,” proclaimed Real McCoys’ general manager and associate head coach Don Robertson. “It’s a good group and if we stay healthy our guys will decide how far we go.”
No question Dundas has a group that, when everyone is in the lineup, can be unstoppable. They’ll find out just how far they can make it, with the ultimate destination being Brantford and a spot in the 100th Allan Cup tournament when all is said and done this year.
The time to prove how good they can be starts Friday (Feb. 15) when Dundas welcomes the Tillsonburg Vipers for game one of their semi-final match up. Although the comparison looks great on paper for the Real McCoys, having won eight of nine games during the regular season against their post-season dance partner, Robertson knows you can throw everything that happened up to this point out the window.
“It’s a brand new season,” said Robertson. “Tillsonburg have added a great deal of top players down the stretch, and they’ll be tough to beat. If we don’t stay disciplined and focused on defence, we could be in some trouble.”
The Real McCoys are the most prolific offensive team in the league, scoring at a rate of just under five goals per game and getting their offense from all over the ice. It is unlikely that will change come playoff time. So the focus on defense, always an important facet to make a championship run, comes into play. And that may be of little concern as well, as the Real McCoys have brought in the cavalry for what is hoped to be a lengthy playoff run. It starts with returning defender Scott Young, who has played 40 games in Dundas red over the past three seasons.
Young had 23 points in 24 games two years ago as a Real McCoy and represented the team at the annual All-Star game.
Also making his return to the Dundas blue line is Joel Dezainde, little brother of former Real McCoys’ fan favourite captain, Norm. The younger Dezainde played three games for the McCoys back in 2005. And maybe the most important addition comes in solid, stay at home, gritty blue liner and one time Stanley Cup Champion as a New Jersey Devil, Ken Sutton. Sutton, a veteran of nearly 400 big league games and a member five different NHL clubs, is expected to bolster the blue line should the McCoys escape round one and reach the finals.