Dundas watched in frustration as the clock counted down on their defence of the John Ross Robertson Cup last Friday night (March 22) when the Real McCoys fell, 6-4, to the Brantford Blast.
Mark Taylor’s second-period goal, which ricocheted off the crossbar and the back of netminder Brock Novak, turned the tide in favour of the Blast as they captured the best-of-seven series 4-2 in games. Brantford now advances to the Renwick Cup championship against the Northern Ontario Hockey Association champion, Kenora Thistles at Kenora on the March 29-31 weekend. The winner of the Renwick series will advance to the Allan Cup Tournament (April 15-20) at Red Deer, Alberta.
Mike Berry’s expression summed up a season, which ended in frustration as injuries caught up to the Real McCoys. (Photo: Richard Zazulak/Dundas Real McCoys)
“There are no excuses when you lose a seven-game series, the best team won period, This is only the second time in the past 14 years of league playoffs that we have lost, and we don’t like it one bit,” said Real McCoys’ general manager Don Robertson.
“We learned a lot about our group of players, and that will help us prepare for next year’s Allan Cup Hockey Tournament in Hockeyville.
“Brock Novak, from the Waterdown area, had the ride of a lifetime after he joined us. He started as a backup, and when we needed him, we threw him into the league final in front of huge crowds. Brock did everything we asked of him. He gave us a chance to win in almost every game.
“I’m sure he’ll have stories to tell his kids about playing with a bunch of former pros including former NHLers. It was fun to watch him compete, and have him interact with the guys. We thank him for what he did for us, and we thank Peter Richards (Burlington Cougars coach) for lending him to us.”
The 19-year-old Novak played for the Cougars this past Ontario Junior Hockey League season.
The previous Tuesday night at Brantford, Chad Spurr, Jon Jankus, and Ryan Tocher paced the Blast to a 4-1 victory with two-point nights, and a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series.
That night, Dundas added to its list of injured players: Nick Smith went down, and defenceman Jay McKee followed, after playing two and half periods on a broken ankle. They joined goalkeepers Jeff Maund, Bryan Worosz, and Neil Clelland on the sidelines.
Spurr, Jankus, and Tocher had a goal and an assist each with Chris Rebernik adding the other Brantford goal. Mike Ruberto set up three of the scoring plays. The Blast scored once in the opening period and added three more in the second before Paul Lawson replied for Dundas in the third.
In the series final game, in addition to the Taylor goal, Jamie Williams, and Chris Rebernik scored twice each for the Blast with Kyle Spurr adding the other. Dundas replied with a pair of goals from Ryan Christie, and singles by Darryl Smith and Cam Watson.
Cam Sault led Brantford with four points. Williams added three more points, and Taylor and Kyle Spurr had two points apiece. Watson and Darryl Smith led the McCoys with three points each. Christie and Davis each had two points.