THE DESK OF MIKE HAYAKAWA..
OCTOBER 4, 2001
Markham Waxers head coach Russ Herrington was searching for some answers
when his Provincial Junior A Hockey League club took to the Centennial
ice Monday for its game against the Aurora Tigers.
With the Waxers coming off an embarassing 9-1 lambasting at the hands of
visiting St. Michaelšs Buzzers on Saturday, Herrington was hoping his
fortunes would do a 180-degree about face.
He also wanted to see if newly acquired goalkeeper David Digironimo, who
signed just hours before the contest in a cash deal with the Bramalea
would solve the netminding dilemma the club was experiencing.
Judging by what transpired Monday, which saw the Waxers skate off with a
hard-fought 6-5 overtime victory, Herrington came away a little more
"It was nice to see," said Herrington of his club's effort.
"Based on how we
finished Saturday that play carried over in the first period, but we
Jesse Boucher scored two goals, including the game-winner at the 2:38-mark
after he was left unguarded in front of the Tigers' net and one-timed a
centering pass from Steve Nobili, who was parked behind the goal.
Leading the team in scoring with 12 goals and 11 assists, Boucher was
surprised that no one picked him up in the slot area at such a crucial
in the contest.
"We really needed to get our confidence back and we needed the two
big time," said Boucher.
"We told the guys that it didnšt matter if it was 60 minutes or 65
we're here to get the two points and the guys found a way to do it,"
Trailing 2-1 after one period, the Waxers dug themselves into a deeper
early in the second period after the Tigers scored to pad their advantage
But unanswerred goals by Boucher, on a power-play effort, and
Diotte enabled the Waxers to even the count after two periods.
The Waxers received a setback in that period after forward Jason Young
an errant elbow from Tigers' forward Tyler Dutchyshen and left the game
whiplash and a concussion. Herrington hinted Young could miss about a
Herrington though, felt the incident was not intentional.
"Tyler's a throwback style of player and he's a hard working player
plays both ends of the ice. Hešs not a dirty player. Things like that
in a game."
After Ben Cottreau staked the Waxers to a 4-3 lead early in the third
period, the Tigers tied the game in the late going.
That would be shortlived as just 31 seconds later, the Waxers regained the
lead on a goal by Pat Porretta.
Calling a timeout with 1:51 left in regulation time, the Tigers pulled
goalie Chris Whitley in favour of an extra attacker. The move paid off as
the Tigers sent the contest into overtime with just three seconds left in
Herrington was glad to see that his charges refused to fold after the
tied the game on two separate occasions. What that showed, Herrington
was his club possesses some character.
"The fact that we had a couple of bad breaks when we led 4-3 and 5-4
didnšt get frustrated. We regrouped and attacked right off the bat. That's
the sign of a good team and a team with confidence."
Travis O'Rourke accounted for the other Waxers' goal in the opening
which saw Markham take a 1-0 lead.
As for the play of the 20-year-old Digironimo between the pipes,
acknowledged his play was suspect in the early going. But he was quick to
point out the former Bramalea netminder hadnšt been on skates in almost
weeks. Herrington though, is happy to have acquired his services.
"He was good in the playoffs last year and he understands what we
will definitely help us," said Herrington of Digironimo.
Occupants of second-place in the south conference with a 5-3-0-1 mark, the
Waxers will take to the road tonight for a game with the north
conference-leading Newmarket Hurricanes and return to Centennial Arena
tomorrow for a rematch at 8 p.m. On Sunday, the Waxers will play in Aurora
at 2:30 p.m.
|This article was written by Mike
Hayakawa and published in the Markham Economist and Sun. Minor edits
may have been performed to the original article.
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