The Dundas Real McCoys’ continuous effort to give back to the community was on display this past weekend in Copps Coliseum. The Major League Hockey team played its second back-to-back victories over the Orillia Tundras in the Hamilton arena.
Saturday’s event was an attempt to raise money for Mac Kids Hospital, with $5 dollars per ticket sold going toward the cause. Dundas joined forces with HECFI, and spectators were able to purchase a Real McCoys ticket, and redeem it for a ticket to the Hamilton Bulldogs’ Pink in the Rink game later that night. The Bulldogs were raising money to give to the fight against Breast Cancer.
“We couldn’t be happier about how we finished with 11 straight wins (longest in the MLH this season) in the New Year,” said co-coach and general manager Don Robertson after his club defeated Orillia twice over the weekend – 14-5 on Friday and 5-2 in Saturday’s re-match The Real McCoys finished the regular season in first place.
“The playoffs are here and anyone can win at this point. There are three good teams in this round-robin,” said Robertson. The playoffs begin on Friday, Feb. 19, as Dundas is host to the Norwood Vipers at 7:45 p.m. in Dundas’ JL Grightmire Arena. The McCoys then will travel to Whitby to face-off against the second-place Dunlops for a matinee game at 3:30 p.m.
The playoffs are a double round-robin format where teams will play each other four times. Then, the two top teams will play a best-of-seven John Ross Robertson Cup championship series to decide who will compete in the Allan Cup Tournament at Fort Saint John, B.C. in April.
Fans will see several new faces on the ice for Dundas come playoff season. Veteran Mark Jooris has returned upfront and will be joined by former Burlington Cougars’ forward Rod Hinks, a veteran of the American Hockey League. Jooris is the coach of the first place Burlington Cougars Provincial Junior A hockey club.
On defence, the McCoys have added Rob Maric and Dave Russell.
Shawn Shewchuk scored the first two goals in Dundas’ rout of Orillia last Friday night. He went on to score a shorthanded and a powerplay goal as well as drawing an assist in the third period for a five-point night. Teammate Ryan Christie had five points of his own, with four goals, including a natural hat trick in the first period alone. Shewchuk and Christie received the game’s first and second stars respectively. Hinks, Justin Davis, JJ Martin, Mark Jooris, and Mike Amodeo scored once each to round out the scoring.
Real McCoys’ goalie Dan Turple, helped his team by assisting the game’s first goal as well as stopping 31 of the 36 shots fired his way. Dundas won the game despite being outshot 36 to 33.
The Tundra’s Ron Bertrand was relieved of goaltending duties after allowing six goals on 13 shots. Alessandro Lupo, who made 12 saves on the 20 shots thrown at him, replaced Bertrand.
Saturday’s game witnessed a slow start by Dundas as Lupo stopped all 12 McCoys shots in the first period. Lupo received the game’s third star, in a losing effort, stopping 39 of 44 shots. Orillia’s Craig Woods scored the only goal of the period, giving the Tundras a 1-0 lead.
Dundas’ John Neal scored the second period’s lone goal, tying the game at one goal apiece.
The line of Ryan (Manny) Kuwabara, Ryan Christie, and Nick Smith took over in the third period, with each player scoring for Dundas. Shewchuk contributed with a goal, and with Orillia only scoring once (Jeff Blackburn) as Dundas won the game. Smith finished atop the MLH scoring race with 47 points (19-28) in 17 games. A total of six of the McCoys including Smith finished in the top 10 in League scoring.