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StreetTalk with Mike Hayakawa

The Markham Waxers traditionally play its Provincial Junior A Hockey League home games at Centennial Arena on Friday evenings. But if Russ Herrington has his way, he hopes there is no game to play tomorrow.

"I think our guys can smell it..."
Russ Herrington

What the Markham Waxers head coach is hoping for is to utilize the Centennial Arena ice Friday night to run his charges through a practice. For that to happen, the Waxers would have to prevail in Thursday's fourth game of their best-of-seven, first-round South Conference playoff series against the Oshawa Legionaires, which will be played at Oshawa's Civic Auditorium at 7:30 p.m.

On Monday, the Waxers took a commanding three games to nothing lead in the series after edging a feisty Legionaires' team 3-2 in the third game at Centennial Arena.

Entering Monday's contest, Herrington had an inclination the contest would not resemble last Friday's 8-1 drubbing the Waxers administered on the Legionaires.

"Oshawa has a lot of pride and we figured they weren't going to roll over. They played well. They played desperate and we didn't. But we played well enough to win. I thought we competed hard," assessed the Waxers head coach.

The Waxers carried over Friday's performance into the first period as Kevin Cribari and Jesse Boucher scored unanswered goals to stake Markham to a 2-0 advantage after 20 minutes.

After the Legionaires struck first halfway in the second period to cut their deficit to 2-1, Kevin Tompkins scored with about two minutes left in the frame to enable the Waxers to restore their two-goal advantage entering the third stanza.

Playing a little undisciplined hockey in the third period almost cost the Waxers as the Legionaires scored on a two-man advantage, their lone power-play goal of seven opportunities given to them on the night, to reduce the Markham lead to 3-2.

But that would be as close as the Legionaires would get as Waxers goalie Rick Marnon did not allow another puck to get by him. In total, Marnon handled 30 of 32 shots directed his way.

"He did a really good job, especially in the third period when we were scrambly for a while," said Herrington of his goalkeeper. "We couldn't fault him on their power-play goal."


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.

The Waxers had 27 shots on the Legionaires' net. Not included in the shots were three posts which the Waxers hit including one in the first period and two in the second. With a little luck, the Waxers might have had a little more breathing room.

While pleased with the quick start, which turned out to be the game's turning point, Herrington noted the players might have their guard down for the remainder of the game which in turn, allowed the Legionaires to keep within arm's reach.

"We had the chances to bury them but we didn't. We sort of went into an easy mode. We let them hang around a little longer than what I would have liked. But it was long enough to the point where the guys on our bench said 'enough was enough'," he cited.

With a chance to wrap up the series Thursday night in quick fashion, Herrington senses it won't be an easy task for his charges.

"It would be nice to sweep the series. But we told the guys that no one wants their season to end on home ice. It won't be an easy game. I hope in Thursday's game that we come out with the attitude that it's time to send them packing. I think our guys can smell it (the win)."

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