Dundas Real McCoys squeezed out a valuable 7-5 victory over last place Orillia-Coldwater Tundra in their continuing battle for first place in Major League Hockey last Friday night (Jan. 30).
Orillia never quit, and continued to battle back, cutting the Real McCoys lead to one goal but with less than two minutes left to play, Dundas put the final nail in the coffin on Justin Davis’ second counter of the night.
The same night, Norwood Vipers downed the Clippers 7-4 in Baltimore, and the next night, Orillia was shutout by Whitby Dunlops 5-0. The results left the Real McCoys where they were at the start of the weekend; two points back of Whitby and Norwood (each with 32 points) with 30 points and three games in hand on the leaders.
This Friday (Feb. 6) the McCoys take on the Brantford Blast at 8 p.m. in the Brantford Community Centre before travelling to Baltimore to play the Clippers Saturday night. Game time is 7:30 p.m. Whitby and Norwood both play twice over the weekend including once against each other Saturday in the Iroquois Arena as the top three continue their battle for the league lead.
The next home game for the Real McCoys is Friday, Feb. 13 when the Blast visits the J.L. Grightmire Arena for a 7:45 p.m. puck drop.
Last Friday, Dundas and Orillia came out hitting, earning a number of prime scoring chances. Dundas opened the scoring with a goal by Rob DeCiantis. The lead, however, was short-lived as Orillia’s Dennis Dewar tied the score on the Tundra’s third power play of the period.
In the second, both teams maintained the high energy. Orillia netted an unassisted power play goal by Leiland Gaulay, but Shawn Maltby, a new addition to the McCoys, tied the score when he beat Orillia goalie Ron Bertrand.
Dundas pulled ahead on a Mark Jooris goal during a five-on-three power play advantage. With less than a minute to go in the period, Frank Grandits drilled a shot home to give the McCoys a 4-2 lead.
A nail-biter of a third period saw Dundas lose its two-goal lead as Gaulay (second of the game), and Mason Drew scored for Orillia. McCoys Shawn Shewchuk answered on a give-and-go with Tyler Pelton. Then two costly penalties put the game out of reach as Davis connected on the manpower advantage. Kyle Begley’s power play effort pulled Orillia to within a goal, but that was as close as the score got.
Cambridge native, Maltby is a veteran forward with American Hockey League, East Coast Hockey League, and European experience. Pelton, who played for the Real McCoys in 2002, as an affiliate player has been with Brantford since 2003, and captained the Blast to an Allan Cup Championship last season.
Maltby, a Cambridge native, previously played in the American and East Coast hockey leagues, and in Europe.
“We just keep trying to add depth and experience as we move toward the end of the schedule and we know Shawn can help us in that area,” said Robertson.
“Maltby has been in all the situations we will face over the next few weeks and you just cannot get enough quality experience at this time of year. We still have three open Ontario Hockey Association cards to add players to our roster, and will use them in a useful manner over the next few days.”