The playoff season got underway Thursday night in
Oshawa, after a relatively cautious first period by both clubs the contest
resembled very much a "playoff-type" of game and in particular the
Waxers played solid hockey most of the night, but especially in the third
period when they just slammed (sealed might be more appropriate) the door shut.
The first period featured very few scoring
chances by either side. The Waxers hit paydirt first when Mark
Mitchell made a rush almost end-to-end that resulted in a scoring
chance for Paul Robinson,
Robinson made good from a less than optimum angle on the left wing and the
Waxers were in flight at 1-0. Steve
Nobili picked up the second assists.
Midway through the game Jason
Young unloaded with a bullet from the right faceoff circle, his shot
hit the underside of the crossbar and skipped into the top shelf, an outstanding
shot that the Oshawa tender could not be faulted for. Jimmy
Ball and Nobili with the assists.
Oshawa spoiled Rick
Marnon's bid for a shutout early in the third to cut the Waxer lead to
2-1. After that goal the Waxers elevated their game to another level (a level
they have played at for many of the games up to the conclusion of the regular
season when they finished up with 20 out of 26 possible points to escape from
the pack to gain third place). Marnon made two excellent stops to preserve the
tie before Young scored his second of the night to "turn out the
lights". With just over four minutes remaining Andy
Schofield fed Nobili with an outlet pass, Nobili carried the puck deep
down the right wing and made a nice pass into the goal mouth area where Young
alertly changed position to tip it into the Legionaires cage.
The Waxers depth up front was enhanced by the
return of Jason Fraccaro
(his play in the first two periods was as good as any of the Waxer forwards, it
was as if he'd never missed a game). Then there was the much anticipated return
of Nobili, beside being in on each of the three Waxer goals he was outstanding
as usual defensively but more importantly for the Waxers of late he was
exceptional in key faceoff situations.
However, despite the win, it was obvious to any
long-time Waxer observer that the Waxers have played better hockey but it's an
important point to note that despite their top two lines having perhaps
"off-nights" the Waxers depth and experience carried them through.
This was a great example to illustrate that
hockey is a team game and the Waxers have been getting key contributions from
different guys on different nights since New Year's, another way of looking at
it is that when there's been a hole to fill there's been more often than not a
player (or two or three, etc.) to step up their play and do what's necessary to
get the job done. That is exactly what is going to take this club a long way in
No rest for these two clubs as game two goes at
Markham Centennial Friday night at 8:00pm. At this time we don't have a
confirmed schedule for the remainder of the series (there are some issues with
respect to acquiring ice time, not an unusual situation at this time of the
year), we do however hope to be able to share with you additional scheduling
information tomorrow (Friday) but failing that you'll be able to find out here
as quickly as those matters get resolved.
|G A M
E S U M M A R Y
Smyth OSH (holding), 4:02; Tompkins Mar (holding), 4:28; Ferrante
Mar (high sticking), 6:09; Seres OSH (holding), 7:39; Mitchell Mar
(roughing after whistle), 18:26; Ball Mar (roughing), Rankine OSH
(cross checking), 19:50.
1. Markham, Robinson 1 (Mitchell, Nobili), 5:54.
2. Markham, Young 1 (Ball, Nobili), 10:07.
Pons OSH (high sticking), 2:05; Mitchell Mar (slashing), ADoucette
Mar (roughing after whistle, misconduct), Deir OSH (roughing after
whistle), 12:33; Hugli OSH (cross checking), 15:37; MacRury OSH
(cross checking), 17:25.
3. Oshawa, Uniacke (Kosiw), 1:09.
4. Markham, Young 2 (Nobili, Schofield), 15:56.
Markham: Rick Marnon. Oshawa: Chris Whitley.