Real McCoys capture MLH crown in six games

Should the town of Dundas rename its cozy community “Titletown”? After the Dundas Real McCoys brought home their fifth Major League Hockey crown in the past eight seasons, it certainly could be on the docket at the next municipal meeting. The Real McCoys hoisted the championship trophy after a 5-2 win at the Civic Centre in Brantford, disposing of their arch rival, the Blast, in six games.

The win is just another feather in the team’s collective cap, combined with the top regular season record, as Dundas prepares to embark on the next journey of its quest toward the ultimate in senior hockey supremacy, the 100th edition of the Allan Cup.

Phase two starts Thursday night (March 20) in Dundas, as the McCoys open their Robertson Trophy battle with the Eastern Ontario Senior Hockey League winners, the Whitby Dunlops, at Grightmire Arena. The Dunlops, a staple in Ontario hockey lore, earned their way to this match up with the McCoys by ousting Norwood in a five-game semi-final, before sweeping away Simcoe County in the final round in the Eastern loop.

Whitby cruised through the regular season, winning 24 of 28 games and finishing 17 points higher than the second place team. Led by the triple threat goal scoring prowess of Ron Baker, Jason McAuley, and Peter Mackellar, each of whom scored 32 goals during the season and combined for 22 of Whitby’s 46 goals in the playoffs, the Dunlops may be the most gifted offence the McCoys have faced all season and shutting them down will be a challenge.

That being said, facing a team as well rounded as Dundas will definitely be the toughest task of Whitby’s title trek. The MLH kings rolled over Tillsonburg in a semi-final sweep before battling to a six-game triumph over Allan Cup host Brantford in the finals. For Dundas, its offence is dynamic and extremely well balanced. The McCoys have scored 55 goals in 10 post season games and carry eight skaters who collected 10 or more points in those contests.

When it comes to scoring goals, Ryan Christie leads the way. Christie, a former fifth-round draft choice of the Dallas Stars, was the second leading goal getter during the season, with 23. He has continued to light the lamp in the playoffs, notching 12 goals. Justin Davis, a late arrival in Real McCoys’ red, has been a primary scorer since his inclusion to the line up picking up 15 goals in just 11 regular season contests and adding nine more post season tallies. Real McCoy icon Mark Jooris hasn’t missed a beat since returning to the team late last month. All he has done is lead the Real McCoys in points during the championship march and add another weapon to Dundas’ bottomless offensive arsenal.

Former NHL veterans Todd Harvey, Mike Kennedy and Todd Hlushko, along with the talented Nick Smith and prolific playoff performer Rob DeCiantis, who scored a hat trick in a five-point outing in game five of the MLH finals, cause nightmares for visiting goalies and headaches for even the finest coaches.

“This is the best team we have had in eight years,” stated Real McCoys’ general manger Don Robertson. “Even though it’s our fifth league title, this group is the most talented we have assembled.”

As the teams prepare for this best of five series, with the winner earning the right to represent Southern Ontario in the Renwick Cup, it’s the second time in three seasons that these two stoic clubs have tangled. In 2006, it was Whitby winning the series by a 3-1 count and eventually advancing to what would be the Dunlops first back-to-back Allan Cup championship game appearances. However, favouring the Real McCoys this time around, is home-ice advantage.

“The crowd should be a big part of it,” added Robertson. We had standing room only at our last game, so it should be a fun series.”

Dundas has yet to lose a game at JL Grightmire Arena in the post season (5-0).