Hockey

Dundas expects Thistles to be a thorn in their side


Friday night, for the seventh time since their re-formation in 2000, the Dundas Real McCoys will play for the Renwick Challenge Cup, and a ticket to the 2015 Allan Cup Tournament at Clarenville, Newfoundland in April.

Dundas Real McCoys celebrated their victory over Brantford Blast, and the right to play Kenora Thistles for the 2015 Renwick Challenge Cup.  (Photo: Richard Zazulak/Dundas Real McCoys)

Dundas Real McCoys celebrated their victory over Brantford Blast, and the right to play Kenora Thistles for the 2015 Renwick Challenge Cup. (Photo: Richard Zazulak/Dundas Real McCoys)

The road to the Renwick was not an easy one. Dundas entered last week with a 3-1 lead in games against the Brantford Blast. Last Tuesday (March 24), for the second time in the Ontario Hockey Association’s John Ross Robertson Cup final, the game went into overtime with the Blast winning, 4-3, on Andrew Marcoux’s goal at 13:16. Derek Matheson led Dundas with a goal and two assists with Shawn Snider adding another goal and an assist. Chris McGuffin had their other goal.

“We have great fans and sponsors, and we know we challenged their patience early in the season. We didn’t duck the fact it was going to be tough re-tooling to get where everyone expected us to be, but it seems that it all worked out once again,” said McCoys’ president and general manager Don Robertson.

“Head coach Ron Berancci did a great job pulling all the new guys together, and bringing Dan Caco as his assistant late in the season. Caco has added to the mix, nicely.

“We really stressed our winning tradition here to the new players, and they bought into it,” Robertson added. “Brantford is a great hockey team just like Whitby, and it was no easy task getting past them. We had Mike Mole to back us up, and this year’s captain, Cam Watson, showed us the way along with a very talented group of players, who, when they want, can be a very good hockey team.”

Last Friday (March 27), it was Mole’s standout goalkeeping coupled with three goals by Watson and an insurance marker by defenceman Simon Mangos that gave Dundas a 4-2 victory over Brantford, and the Robertson Cup in front of a capacity crowd in the JL Grightmire Arena.

Brantford battled hard to unseat the defending Allan Cup Tournament champions, but in the end, Dundas won the best-of-seven final 4-2 in games to advance to the Renwick Challenge Cup final against the Kenora Thistles.

The start of the best-of-three Renwick Cup Challenge series is Friday night (April 3). The McCoys have worn the crown four of the seven times they have challenged for it.

“This weekend could prove to be a real challenge because we know little about the Thistles. We know that they will work hard, and be injury free coming in here,” said Robertson.

“We played them last year in the Allan Cup Tournament, but that is a whole different story. We plan to defend our Allan Cup title in Newfoundland, and this is the next step. This weekend should be fun.”

The Thistles can lay claim to one fame which the McCoys can’t: Kenora won the Stanley Cup in 1907 before it became the symbol of professional hockey’s top prize.

Friday’s game begins at 7 p.m., with the second game Saturday also at 7 p.m. If a third game is necessary it will be played at 11 a.m. on Sunday (April 5). All games will be played in the Grightmire Arena. The early start time for the possible third game is to accommodate Kenora’s flight arrangements.

Single game tickets are $20 per person. A three-game package is $40 per person. The cost of the tickets is being used to help defray the $30,000 travel and accommodations cost to bring the Thistles to Dundas.

The winner of the Renwick Cup advances to the 2015 Allan Cup Senior AAA Hockey Tournament at Clarenville, Newfoundland between April 13 and 18.

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