Sunday, August 10, 2014

Redmen stay alive with 9-7 win over Chiefs, force Game 5 Monday

Mike Teeter and the Brooklin Redmen won Game 4 9-7 to stay alive in the series. (Photo: Darryl Smart)
The Brooklin Redmen staved off elimination with a 9-7 win over the Six Nations Chiefs in Game 4 of the MSL semifinals Saturday night behind a 52-save effort from Zach Higgins and four transition goals. Dan Lintner had 2 goals and an assist, Shawn Williams a goal and 3 assists and John Lafontaine a goal and 2 assists for the Redmen. Vaughn Harris led the Chiefs with 2 goals and 4 assists, Cody Jamieson had a hat trick, Jeff Shattler a goal and 3 assists and Colin Doyle 4 assists.

The Redmen led 2-1 after the first period and stretched the lead to 4-1 by the 5-minute mark of the second. To that point, Brooklin had one power play goal, one shorthanded goal, one 4-on-4 goal and one regular strength goal. The Chiefs then went on a 5-goal run in just over five minutes, culminated by Jamieson's natural hat trick in 2:38. Dan Ball stopped the run by ripping home a sub shot in transition 22 seconds after Jamieson's third and Lintner's second tied it up 6-6 heading into the third period.

Kasey Beirnes tapped home a Shattler pass at 7:03 to put Six Nations back in front. Lafontaine scored on a breakaway with a beautiful dip and dunk to tie things back up. The winning goal came with just under four minutes to play when Shayne Jackson ripped a hard outside shot that bounced high in the air off of goalie Brandon Miller and landed just behind the goal line. A minute later the Redmen took advantage of the Chiefs pressing to find Mike Triolo alone behind everyone and the big forward put it home for an insurance marker.

“It was a big confidence boost for us because we had lost seven straight playoff games to them over the last two seasons, some of which we played great and still lost,” said Redmen assistant coach Paul Stewart about the game. He acknowledged that Brooklin is still in a tough situation being down 3-1 in games but said they won't give up. “It's an uphill battle for sure. Beating the defending champs four in a row to advance is not impossible but we have no delusions about what we are facing,” Stewart said. “We are going into Monday night knowing we can win and we will throw everything we have at them to keep the series alive.”

Lafontaine said the Redmen planned to push the pace, believing it would give them the best chance to win. “That was our goal tonight was to get pushing and try to keep some of their offensive guys on defence,” Lafontaine said. “I think we did a pretty good job of pushing it, trying to keep the pace up, and it definitely did help us win tonight.” The key for them now, Lafontaine added, is to keep it up. “We've got to stay motivated, stay pumped up, keep running.”

Six Nations head coach Rich Kilgour said his team didn't come to play with the same aggressiveness they'd shown earlier in the series. “The first three games we really came out with an attitude: we're bigger, we're stronger and we're going to push you guys around,” Kilgour said. “Tonight I think we came out a little flat, then we turned it on then it was like, 'I think we did enough to win' and shut it down again. If you don't come to play 60 minutes in this league you're going to end up on the wrong side of the scoreboard. The only thing I want to change is their attitude and their preparation to play. Not so much once they get out there but come to the arena like they did the first three games with a burr under the saddle.”

Game 5 is Monday at 8pm at Whitby's Iroquois Park Sports Centre.