Thursday, July 24, 2014

Redmen master late-game heroics in pair of wins

Zack Higgins and the Redmen, here facing Peterborough,
won a pair of games with late goals this week.
(Photo: Tim Prothero)
The Brooklin Redmen made the most of their late opportunities, scoring goals in the last five seconds to win back-to-back games over the Oakville Rock and Six Nations Chiefs Monday and Wednesday. Against Oakville, the Redmen trailed 3-1 after the first period but rebounded to be tied 6-6 after 40 minutes. They led 8-7 but the Rock tied it up when Rob Hellyer connected with 44 seconds to play in regulation time. Brooklin got the ball with just over 30 seconds to play and called a timeout in which they pulled the goalie and drew up a play to get the ball to Kiel Matisz in the slot. They managed to get it to him and he buried a behind the back shot with just three seconds on the clock for the winner and the 9-8 final. Redmen Head Coach Wayne Colley said his team was a bit lucky to pull out the win but they're pleased to have done so. "It clinches first place overall which is one of the destinations we wanted to achieve along the way. That's only one; we've got a couple more to go," Colley said. "We played hard. In the first period we didn't play very well. Second and third we played not too bad at all so things turned around."

Matisz led Brooklin with a goal and four assists while Kyle Aquin, Curtis Knight and John Lafontaine each scored twice. Stephan Leblanc (2g, 3a) and Hellyer (1g, 4a) each had 5-point nights for Oakville.

It was a tough loss to take for the Rock, who are battling for a playoff spot, said their Head Coach Phil Sanderson. "Losing with three seconds left in the game is always a kick in the nuts, especially when you tie it up with 44 seconds left in the game," Sanderson said. "This one's a tough one to swallow because we needed this one to really stay in the thick of things. We've dug ourselves a bit of a whole but we're not out of it yet. We've still got three games left so hopefully our fortunes will turn around."

Brooklin went to the well again and came up successful when Knight scored with five seconds left to play to beat the Six Nations Chiefs Wednesday in Whitby. Brooklin led 3-1 after the first but Six Nations enjoyed a 4-1 second to take a one-goal lead into the third. Lafontaine and Mike Triolo put the Redmen ahead but Scott Defrancesco's third of the game tied it 6-6 with 3:33 to play. Nobody could connect for the final few minutes until Brooklin got the last possession and found Knight for the winning goal with the extra attacker on the floor again.

Brooklin will finish first and begin the semifinals against the fourth-place finisher in early August. The Chiefs currently sit in fourth place with three games to play, two against fifth-place Oakville and one against third-place KW.