Cam Watson scored three times as the Dundas Real McCoys finished 2011 on a high, defeating Brantford Blast, 6-4, to take over third place in the Allan Cup Hockey League standings.
The McCoys jumped from fifth place to third with a record of 5-5-3-2 after the Dec. 30 game at the J.L. Grightmire Arena. Brantford finished the year with eight wins and seven losses. League action resumes on Friday (Jan. 6) when the McCoys play the first-place Whitby Dunlops in the Grightmire at 7:45 p.m. That same night Norwood Vipers travel to Brantford to play the Blast at 8 p.m. in the Brantford Community Centre.
“Last Friday was a big game for us. The guys came up with a great effort against Brantford. (Jeff) Maund was on his game and they did a good job overall,” said coach Ken Mann.
“This Friday will be a big test for us when Whitby comes to town. We are looking forward to playing them here after playing three straight games in Whitby,” said general manager Don Robertson. “Defenceman John Neal rejoined our club last Friday after taking a couple years off to get his career going. His speed and his ability to move the puck will help us a lot.”
Watson (fourth in league scoring with 20 goals and 11 assists) gave Dundas a 2-0 lead but a late first period goal by Ryan Healy put the Blast within one as the frame ended. Walter Easter tied the score at 2:10 of the second on a wrist shot from the left faceoff circle over the shoulder of Maund and then Cory Stringer gave Brantford the lead with a backhand from the right of the net.
Seventeen seconds after Scott Mifsud banged a shot off the crossbar, he tied the score at 3-3 on a powerplay from a goalmouth scramble involving Brad Jackson and Brad Kenny.
At 7:04 of the final period, Stringer gave Branford a 4-3 lead with a high shot over the shoulder of Maund on a play that began behind the Dundas net.
Half a minute later, Watson drew Leggat down and wristed a shot into the net. Stafford’s star shone at 9:41 when he drifted an unassisted wrist shot past the Blast netminder and gave Dundas the lead 5-4. Neal, in his first game back with the McCoys, scored the insurance marker unassisted on a shorthanded play into the empty net with 22 seconds to go.