Real McCoys, Vipers locked in final hockey series

It was the Jordan Freeland show last Sunday (March 27) as the six-foot one-inch forward shook off a four-game playoff scoring drought to carry the Norwood Vipers to a 4-3 overtime victory over the Dundas Real McCoys and even the best-of-seven John Ross Robertson Cup senior hockey final at a game apiece in the Asphodel Norwood Community Centre.

Freeland scored all three Vipers goals during regulation time including one on a powerplay, and then set up the game winner by David Herring 59 seconds in the overtime frame. Dundas took advantage of manpower situations as Justin Davis scored twice with Matt Smith adding the other. Davis’ first goal came on a second period penalty shot when Davis was hooked on a breakaway. He scored high to the glove side of Vipers’ goalkeeper Ryan Aschaber.

Two nights earlier, Ryan Christie, Brad Kenny, and Mike Kennedy with two goals each gave the Real McCoys an 8-4 victory over Norwood in the JL Grightmire Arena. On the season, the two clubs split their four-game set, each winning twice in the other club’s rink. Also scoring for Dundas were Davis and Cam Watson. Replying for the Vipers with two goals was Mark Prentice with Jordan Freeland and Adrian Wilson adding singles.

“We knew when we started this final that Norwood would work their guts out and they did that Sunday night. We fought back from being down 3-1, but needed a full 60-minute effort to win, and that didn’t happen,” said general manager Don Robertson.

“To take nothing away from them in either game, (last) Friday we scored early and often, but the Vipers never quit. This weekend’s games will be exciting. The game up there (Norwood) was physical and we gave up too many powerplays to them. We’ll have to work on that, and a couple other things to be ready for three games in three nights.”

The series continues in Dundas on Friday (April 1) at 8 p.m. The two teams return to Norwood for the fourth game of the best-of-seven series Saturday at 8 p.m. with game five in the Grightmire Arena Sunday (April 3) at 7 p.m. Games six and seven if necessary will be played at Norwood on Tuesday, April 5 and in Dundas on Thursday, April 7. Both are scheduled for 8 p.m.