THE DESK OF MIKE HAYAKAWA..
START PLAYOFFS ON THE ROAD AND RETURN WITH A WIN
The Markham Waxers might have been taking a big chance when they elected to start its first round, best-of-seven Provincial Junior A Hockey League playoff series on the road against the Oshawa Legionaires on Thursday.
had the lead we executed well and shut them down"
But Waxers head coach Russ Herrington was confident his club, which has home ice advantage, could continue its dominance of the Legionaires, a team they had defeated in all five of its regular season outings.
The decision by the Waxers was fortuitous as they drew first blood in the series with a 3-1 win.
The series was to resume yesterday in Markham with the third game of the series still up in the air as to when it will be held at Centennial Arena. The fourth game is scheduled to be played in Oshawa at a still to be determined date.
"You always want to get the first one (game), especially when its on the road," said Herrington. "I think all in all it was favorable for us to start the series on the road. We just wanted to start the series as soon as possible. The first playoff game can eat the guys up...just the anticipation of it. Maybe it was better for us to be on the road. But it's good to get the first one under your belt."
After a scoreless first period, Paul Robinson and
Jason Young lit the lamp to stake the Waxers to a 2-0 lead through 40 minutes. The Legionaires scored early in the third to cut their deficit, but Young notched his second goal of the game with seven minutes left to put the game on ice.
|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.
This has been reproduced with permission.
In analyzing the game, Herrington felt the first period set the tone for what would transpire.
For starters, he noted that the work of Rick Marnon between the pipes proved critical as he made some big saves. In total, Marnon handled 23 of 24 shots directed his way.
Equally important, Herrington pointed out, was the work of his club's penalty killing units which killed off five extra strength opportunities. Included in those attempts was a five-on-three situation for almost a minute.
"We got the goaltending that we needed and the penalty killing in the first period. In the second period we took advantage of our opportunities and in the third when we had the lead we executed well and shut them down." Herrington also noted the Legionaires did not do anything different that caught the club off guard.
"They did what we expected. They worked hard and played physical. It was a tough go."
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