Giveaways were the undoing for the Dundas Real McCoys on Sunday (March 17) when they dropped a 9-5 verdict to the Brantford Blast in the fourth game of the John Ross Robertson Cup final in the JL Grightmire Arena.
Two nights earlier at Brantford, Chad Spurr scored twice including once on a powerplay in a penalty-filled contest, which Brantford won 5-2. Thirty-three penalties totalling 88 minutes were called against both sides. The Blast took 19 of those infractions.
Paul Lawson (26) rifled a shot past Blast netminder Anthony Marshall on Sunday night. Brantford won 9-5 to tie the John Ross Robertson Cup series. (Photo: Richard Zazulak)
Sunday’s loss at home evened the best-of-seven series at two games each, and turned it into a best-of-three scenario with the fifth game scheduled for Tuesday (March 19) in the Brantford Civic Centre. Game six will be in the Grightmire Arena Friday (March 22) at 7:30 p.m. If necessary, game seven will be at Brantford on Sunday (March 24), also at 7:30 p.m.
“Friday night in Dundas will be one of our biggest home games since the 2003 Allan Cup Tournament. If we are going to win this series that game will be huge for us one way or the other,” said McCoys general manager Don Robertson.
“We really didn’t think that we would win eight straight playoff games, however, six in a row was a fun start. That being said, we didn’t expect to lay an egg like we did in game four either,” Robertson added. “But then it’s only a game whether it’s 3-2 or a blowout.”
“We have a very proud group of athletes, and I’m sure we’ll battle back with the pride that has helped us win in the past. We have an outstanding group of players from the top of our roster to the bottom.”
On Sunday, Mike Ruberto paced the Blast attack with two goals and two assists while Cam Sault and Jon Jankus chipped in with a goal and two assists apiece. Corey Stringer, Mark Taylor, and Spurr each had a goal and an assist. Brad Jones had the other Brantford goal.
For Dundas, Mike Berry and Mark Jooris scored a goal each and set up one scoring play each. Berry scored on a powerplay. Ryan Christie, Paul Lawson, and Mike Amodeo rounded out the Dundas scoring. Nick Smith drew two assists.
Two nights previous at Brantford in addition to Spurr, the Blast got single goals from Jones, Stringer (on a powerplay), and Jeremy Bloomfield (empty net). Jankus assisted on three of the Brantford scoring plays with Ruberto and Mike Burgoyne drawing two assists each.
Christie and Jerry Galway each scored on powerplays for the McCoys.
“Friday in Brantford was not a great day for Allan Cup Hockey. Brantford’s fifth defenceman on his second shift of the game went after (Jay) McKee. Justin Davis left the game following a brutal high stick,” said Robertson.
“To cap it off, a Brantford player on his first shift, toward the end of the game, instigated a meaningless fight. The end result was the player was given a six-game minimum suspension by the Ontario Hockey Association… and that speaks for itself.”
John Ross Robertson Cup
Friday, March 8 – Dundas 5 at Brantford 3
Sunday, March 10 – Brantford 3 at Dundas 5
Friday, March 15 – Dundas 2 at Brantford 5
Sunday, March 17 – Brantford 9 at Dundas 5
Tuesday, March 19 – 7:30 p.m. at Brantford
Friday, March 22 – 7:30 p.m. at Dundas
Sunday, March 24 – 2 p.m. at Brantford *
* If Necessary