McCoys using lessons from last year’s early playoff exit

Two-time Major League Hockey regular season champion Dundas Real McCoys open their best-of-seven John Ross Robertson Cup semifinal series Friday night (Feb. 27) against the Baltimore Clippers in the friendly confines of the JL Grightmire Arena. Game time is 7:45 p.m.

The Clippers are the only club to defeat the Real McCoys in the club’s last seven regular season games so this series is one that should highlight the balance and powerful lineup of MLH.

Dundas finished tied for fewest goals against on the season, and scored the most in regular season play. The late additions to the McCoys’ lineup have added some much-needed depth for the playoff run. Those additions include Tyler Pelton who captained last year’s Allan Cup champions, the Brantford Blast of MLH, and defensive stalwart Dan Petri. Also joining the McCoys is veteran defenceman and former American Hockey Leaguer Scott Young and former AHLer Shawn Maltby.

These players compliment the already strong presence of former National Hockey Leaguers Nick Smith, Ryan Christie, and Mike Kennedy. Brett Leggat who topped all goalies in goals against average (3.88) with a 13-3 won-lost record will work well behind the veteran scoring and nine-year Real McCoy veteran Mark Jooris.

The Real McCoys plan to defend last year’s league championship and earn a berth in the 101st Allan Cup Tournament, April 13-18, at Steinbach, Man. Should the club advance it will mark the fourth time in the nine-year history of the team.

Ken Mann and Ron Bernacci, who enjoyed Coach of the Year honours last season, will guide the Real McCoys into this year’s playoffs. The new and improved MLH has created some of the best senior AAA hockey the province has seen since senior hockey’s inception in 1891. The league and the game have enjoyed a rebirth of fan enthusiasm this season, which will carry over to the Robertson Cup playdowns.

“This is has been a special year because the guys have come together so well. We have one of the best team approaches ever with this edition of the Real McCoys, said general manager, and co-coach Don Robertson.

“When that occurs it is generally the key to success in the playoffs. This League is so tight this year, that no one knows how it will end, however, we do know that we’ll battle for the Robertson Cup as long as we can. We came up short last year, and that was a true learning experience for us. It is our hope that we can work hard this year, and find the success that our organization works so hard to achieve each year; so let the games begin.

Semifinal playoff schedule, Baltimore vs. Dundas

Friday, Feb.27, at Dundas, 7:45 p.m.
Sunday, March 1, at Baltimore, 1 p.m.
Friday, March 6, at Dundas. 7:45 p.m.
Sunday, March 8, at Baltimore, 1 p.m.
Friday, March 13, at Dundas, 7:45 p.m., if necessary.
Saturday, March 14, at Baltimore, 8:30 p.m., if necessary.
Sunday, March 15, at Dundas, 7:45 p.m., if necessary.