McCoys jump into driver’s seat on Major hockey playoff series

Dundas Real McCoys won every period except one enroute to taking a 2-0 lead in their best-of-seven John Ross Robertson Cup semifinal with the Baltimore Clippers over the (Feb. 27-March 1) weekend.

On Friday night the McCoys edged the Clippers 5-4 in Dundas’ JL Grightmire Arena to open the Major League Hockey series. Two days later in the Baltimore Arena, they downed their hosts 8-3. Next action in the series is Friday (March 6) at 7:45 p.m. in the Grightmire Arena with game four back in Baltimore two days later at 1 p.m.

“It’s the start we wanted, but they sure gave us all we could handle in the first game. They worked hard and it was tough, the game two score made it look easier than it was, but we played a smart road game and it worked out well,” said general manager and co-coach Don Robertson.

“This thing could still go a long way because they are a quality hockey club, but we’ll stay the course and hope to keep winning. It should be fun this Friday night at home.”

In other Major League Hockey action, Whitby Dunlops opened their best-of-seven series with Norwood Vipers last Saturday at home with a slim 7-6 win. Colin Baker scored the game-winner with less than two minutes left to play. The next night, they lost to the Vipers 7-3, and the series is tied 1-1.

Two minutes and eight seconds into the opening period last Friday night, Baltimore grabbed a 1-0 lead on a powerplay goal by Adam Van Dam, but the lead did not stand up. The McCoys responded with a powerplay goal of their own a minute later by Ryan Christie (1).

Moments later Dundas pulled ahead 2-1 on a scoring play by MLH veteran Mark Jooris.

The physical play picked up and featured hard-hitting body checks. At 17:02 of the frame, the McCoys lost a valuable part of their defence when Scott Young was ejected from the game for hitting-from-behind.

Less than three minutes into the second, Shawn Shewchuk hammered a shot past Baltimore goalkeeper Derek Dolson after he picked up a rebound following Josh Vandenbreggen’s wrist shot from the blue line. Mid-way through the period an errant pass by Jooris turned the puck over to Baltimore’s Todd Taylor, who fired a powerplay marker past netminder Brett Leggat. With 67 seconds remaining in the period, Shawn Maltby netted a shorthanded goal with Leggat assisting to re-establish his club’s two-goal lead.

Physical play by both teams increased in the third period. The Real McCoys witnessed their lead cut by a goal when Taylor scored. Following several failed clearing attempts by Dundas, Shane Terry scored the tying goal for the Clippers.

However, it was Christie, with his second goal of the night with two minutes and 19 seconds remaining, who drove a nail into the Baltimore coffin on a powerplay.

Last Sunday at Baltimore, Tyler Pelton and Jooris were the wrecking crew as Pelton scored three times and Jooris twice (3). Justin Davis (1), Christie (3), and Mike Kennedy (1) added the other goals.