Thursday, June 16, 2016

Redmen hang on for 9-8 win over Chiefs, vault back into first place

Mike Poulin was sharp for the Redmen, leading them to a 9-8 win over Six
Nations that moves Brooklin back atop the MSL standings.
(File photo: Tim Prothero)
Not this time.

One night after scoring four goals in 1:23 to overcome a deficit and beat the Peterborough Lakers at home, the Six Nations Chiefs again tried to dig out of a third-period hole but came up just short, losing 9-8 at the Brooklin Redmen Wednesday. The win moves the Redmen back into first place, a point ahead of the Chiefs.

The Chiefs scored a pair of extra attacker goals in the final three minutes to get within one, but Brooklin held on for the win. The Redmen pulled goalie Mike Poulin for the final 18 seconds after they possession so that they could match Six Nations' six runners and were able to evade the Chiefs' pressure to run out the clock.

Six Nations led 3-2 after the first period but the Redmen took control in the second with a 5-1 edge that included a pair of power play goals and a lovely transition marker by rookie Ryan McSpadyen. Randy Staats got one back for the Chiefs when a loose ball bounced to him at the edge of the crease during a scramble and he was able to quickly flick it into a yawning net. That made it 7-4 after 40 minutes.

The Redmen extended their lead when Curtis Knight opened third-period scoring 4:32 in then Adrian Sorichetti scored in transition, making an excellent play to sprint down the floor, look off the player he was in on a two-on-one with and bury a shot.

Brooklin's defence did a great job of limiting the high-quality scoring chances that Six Nations was able to generate and Poulin was sharp when the Chiefs did find themselves in good scoring positions. It was a noticeable change from Monday night, when the Redmen were hammered 13-5 by Oakville. While six of the Rock's goals came in transition, the Brooklin defenders weren't happy with how they played.

“We went through a little game plan before tonight,” said Brooklin alternate captain Dan Ball. “We weren't obviously impressed with our effort on Monday night. We went over some principles, a little bit of a game plan, everyone got on the same page. There's a lot of talent on our back end but when no one's on the same page it's going to be tough to play D. We went over some stuff and obviously it paid off today.”

It paid off handsomely on the five on five sets. Six Nations scored only three times in settled five on five situations. Three of their goals came on the power play and three with the extra attacker (the two at the end of the game and one on a delayed penalty).

Poulin said the effort of the defenders, as well as the team's attention to not letting the Chiefs run in transition, made it easier for him.

“It's a pretty good defence to play behind so it lets me see the ball. We're forcing the guys to the angles where we want to force them,” Poulin said. “Monday, Oakville was able to beat us in the transition game which isn't something that we usually have happen. Tonight on the settled five on five I don't think they scored too many. They got them in six on five and power plays, situations like that.”

Poulin made 47 saves as the Chiefs outshot the Redmen 55-47. Dan Lintner was Brooklin's top scorer with 2 goals and 1 assist.

Staats, who had 3 goals and 3 assists to lead the Chiefs, said he didn't think playing back to back nights had much of an affect if any, but that Six Nations needed to come out ready to play.

“There is no easy games [this year in MSL],” Staats said. “Night in, night out, you've got to battle. There's no night's off. If you take two periods off like we did tonight, you see four or five goals scored on you in a row and you've got to climb back into it. There's not much room for error.”

The Chiefs are in the middle of a tough four-game stretch against the top contenders in the league. They reverse this week's schedule next week, playing Brooklin at home Tuesday then travelling to Peterborough Thursday.

Brooklin is off until they head to Six Nations next Tuesday then have another crack at Oakville, next Wednesday night at home.