THE DESK OF MIKE HAYAKAWA..
AND RAIDERS FACEOFF FRIDAY NIGHT
If the Markham Waxers hockey club have any aspirations of winning their Provincial Junior A Hockey League south conference title and advancing further into the playoffs,
Russ Herrington acknowledged they will have to beat the best teams.
In this instance, the Waxers head coach feels one of those rivals includes the Wexford Raiders.
want to go deep into the playoffs we have to beat good teams..."
The Waxers, third-place occupants in the south conference with a 28-18-2-1 mark, will face the Raiders, second-place regular season finishers in the south conference at 35-7-5-2, in a second-round best-of-seven series.
The series starts Friday night at Centennial Arena tomorrow at 8 p.m.
"I think if we want to go deep into the playoffs we have to beat good teams and Wexford is a good team. To get out of our league we have to go through them now," said Herrington.
Wrapping up its best-of-seven first-round series over the Vaughan Vipers on Monday in six games, the Raiders hold a slight upper hand on the Waxers. In four regular season meetings against the Waxers, the Raiders won two games and tied one of their four encounters.
Not to take anything away from the Raiders, but Herrington pointed out that in one loss, his club was in the midst of some goaltending woes which have since been rectified with the late-season acquisition of
Rick Marnon from the Bowmanville Eagles.
|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 the one contest that ended up in a 5-5 tie on Jan. 7, Herrington noted his charges outplayed the Raiders only to have a couple of bounces go against them.
Despite the adversities encountered in those outings, Herrington remains confident his well-rested charges can reverse the tables this time around. "We feel confident we can match up with them," he said. "We think we can put a plan together that will be effective and produce a series win."
In analyzing the upcoming series, Herrington is impressed with the offensive numbers the Raiders have put up and feels his club must find a way to neutralize their offence.
"We can't afford to get into a shootout with them. They like an open freewheeling style of game and they're good at cycling the puck. That's how they generate plenty of their offence. I think we have to play well away from the puck, finish our checks and stay out of the penalty box."
Unlike its first-round series sweep over the Legionaires, Herrington anticipates this upcoming series to go more than the minimum four games. "I'd be surprised if the series was over in four. It would be nice though if we were the ones finishing it in four. "But it will be important for us to get off to a good start. It's possible the series could go six or the full seven games."
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