Friday night the Waxers faced off against the visiting Pickering Panthers,
moments after an emotionally charged pre-game ceremony that saw the Waxers
honour their eight graduating players. Give the Panthers their due, they took
advantage of the situation and pulled out a 4-3 overtime decision. The Waxers
never seemed to get untracked and when they might have they ran into penalty
woes and the Panthers struck twice on the powerplay.
The Waxers had several outstanding scoring
chances in the opening period, one that was probably accurately an omen of the
breaks that Markham would get this night (not many of those). The best chance
came off the stick of James Regan who slid one along the ice into a maze of
traffic only to see the puck carom away harmlessly after striking the post. The
Panthers scored the lone goal of the opening period, on a powerplay with five
In a contest that was absent physical contact
for the most part, Mike Stoyan did his part when he absolutely leveled a
Panther around the defensive blueline, unfortunately the Waxers left their
physical game off the ice, probably entwined with the variety of emotions after
the pre-game ceremony.
Early in the second period Kevin
Tompkins scored perhaps the highlight goal of the year when he raced up
the right wing and despite being hooked and held relentlessly, he managed to
one-hand the puck past the Panther keeper, memories of some highlight Mario
Lemieux goals immediately came to mind. If there was a goal to describe pure
guts and and a relentless competitive drive and the will to win, Tompkins goal
was it. Jesse Boucher and
Derek Doucette drew assists on the tying goal. The
goal was the Captain's 18th of the year, half of them coming since the
beginning of the calendar year as the veteran leader of the blue and white has
stepped up his game to another level as if he hadn't already been among
the league's elite.
The tie was very shortlived however as the
Panthers struck for their second powerplay goal a minute later to restore their
one goal advantage. Just over two minutes later they stretched their lead to
In a move that was scripted prior to the start
of the contest, starter Rick Marnon gave way to fellow graduating Waxer
Leclair past the midway point of the contest. At times the game resembled an
All-Star contest, especially with the lack of physical contact, despite the
tame affair the Waxers found themselves in penalty trouble for much of the
Late in the second Derek Doucette unleashed a
howitzeer from the area near the left faceoff circle, Boucher and Tompkins with
the assists. It was Derek's third goal in his past two games, none of them
"cheap" ones, don't know what kind of porridge the Doucette family
has for breakfast but there might be a long lineup at their front door the way
Derek and Adam Doucette have been playing since joining the blue and white.
Midway through the third the Waxers broke out on
a 2-on-1, Regan taking the feed from Patrick Diotte and streaking down the
right wing, Adam Doucette barrelled up the middle and slightly behind and Regan
fooled just about everyone in the building when he made a smart decision upon
seeing lots of mesh and wired one home for the tying goal. This clearly is an
example of how flawed the statistical system is as there is no doubt that the
presence of the elder Doucette contributed greatly to the resulting gaping cage
that greeted Regan on his rush.
Overtime ended relatively swiftly with the
Panthers scoring on a redirect just over a minute in, spoiling the Waxers
unblemished but still very respectable extra session record which now stands at
(3-1-2, wins, losses, ties).
Waxers next travel to North York on Saturday
(Feb. 3) before concluding their regular season in Oshawa on Tuesday night. The
playoff picture is clearing and still unsettled but the Waxers control their
own destiny and would like to wrap up third place Saturday. Their opponent in
the first round, that's a story that we'll just have to await to unfold.
|G A M
E S U M M A R Y
1. Pickering, Schofield (PP) (Christie, Winder), 15:07.
AStoyan Mar (slashing, roughing after whistle), 6:56; Buscema PIC
(high sticking), 11:36; Young Mar (holding stick, misconduct),
14:41; Chandler PIC (hooking), 18:52.
2. Markham, Tompkins 18 (Boucher, DDoucette), 4:36.
3. Pickering, Aitken (PP) (Schofield, Christie), 5:44.
4. Pickering, Christie (unassisted), 8:00.
5. Markham, DDoucette 16 (Boucher, Tompkins), 18:29.
Ball Mar (interference), 2:02; Boucher Mar (roughing after
whistle), 4:54; Diotte Mar (high sticking), 5:51; Lloyd
PIC (slashing), 8:30; Buscema PIC (goaltender interference,
misconduct), 11:15; DDoucette Mar (high sticking), Mitchell Mar
(misconduct), Lloyd PIC (misconduct), 13:42; Carr
PIC (hooking), 14:32; AStoyan Mar (high sticking), 19:21.
6. Markham, Regan 9 (Diotte), 10:14.
Johnson PIC (tripping), 1:56; Mitchell Mar (slashing), 4:21;
AStoyan Mar (cross checking), Boucher Mar (misconduct), Jennings
PIC (misconduct), 7:12.
7. Pickering, Christie (Winder, Aitken), 1:14.
Markham: Rick Marnon, Dan Leclair (11:15 of 2nd). Pickering: Bob