Dundas Real McCoys skated to their fifth consecutive victory in Major League Hockey, edging the Blast 5-3 at the Brantford Civic Centre.
The McCoys trail the league-leading Whitby Dunlops by three points with three games-in-hand. Friday’s (Jan. 2) win improved the McCoys’ record to 11 wins, four losses, and one overtime loss, for 23 points.
This Friday (Jan. 9), Dundas will be hosts to Norwood Vipers in the JL Grightmire Arena. Game time is 7:45 p.m. The McCoys traditional Teddy Bear Toss, the Turkey Raffle, and Night with the Team draw events will take place during the game. The following night, Dundas travels to Baltimore for a 7:30 p.m. game against the Clippers.
Prior to last Friday’s game, a moment of silence was observed for the late Don Sanderson of the Whitby Dunlops, and Judy Crabb, mother of the Blast’s and former McCoys’ equipment manager, Ken Crabb Jr.
“Both of these people are (unrelated) tragic losses to the Major League Hockey family. Our thoughts and prayers go out to both of their families,” said McCoys’ president and co-coach Don Robertson. Sanderson died in hospital on Dec. 31 after failing to emerge from a coma. He was injured in an on-ice scuffle just prior to Christmas. As a tribute to Sanderson, his number 40 will be displayed on the helmets of all players in the league for the remainder of the season.
Brantford got off to a quick start as Jeff Brown scored at 4:34 of the opening period. But the McCoys responded with two goals by Justin Davis and Shawn Shewchuk as Dundas outshot the home side 17-9. Davis scored twice in the contest.
In the second, the tide reversed as the Blast out-shot their opponents 10-9 and out-scored them 2-1 score for a 3-3 after 40 minutes of play.
In the third period, Mike Amodeo broke the deadlock with his 11th goal of the season at 14:40. Nick Smith, with his 15th goal in as many games, scored at 19:07 to ice the game with the empty netter for his 35th point of the season. He set up two scoring plays, and has 20 assists.
Brett Leggat, backed up by Sean Hall, handled the goaltending duties after one-time Hamilton Bulldogs’ netminder Mike Minard signed a Professional Tryout (P.T.O.) contract with his former team earlier in the day.
Minard is a former fourth round, 83rd overall selection of the Edmonton Oilers in the 1995 National Hockey League Entry Draft. He played four seasons with the Bulldogs (1996-2000) and is currently ranked third among goalies in MLH with four wins and two losses in seven games.