Canes hit in OT for second consecutive win
Rob Massey, Guelph Sports Journal
GUELPH – The Guelph Hurricanes connected for their second consecutive win in Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League play Tuesday night at the Sleeman Centre when they edged the Brantford 99ers 3-2 in double overtime.
“We’ve got five points out of the last three games, which is great,” Canes’ assistant coach Brent Wallace said. He’s the brother of head coach/director of hockey operations Adam Wallace. “We’re nine games out from playoffs so if we start clicking now, it’s perfect. We’re trying to get a little cushion in between seventh and sixth and then go from there – get into playoffs. Everyone gets in so it’ll be something that we’re trying to get our systems going for.”
Tuesday’s win followed Sunday’s 2-1 victory over the Kitchener Dutchmen and gave the Canes a two-game win streak for the first time since they edged the Listowel Cyclones 3-2 Sept. 21. The Canes also gained a point when they suffered a 4-3 loss in overtime to the Waterloo Siskins Saturday.
Guelph moved to sixth in the Midwestern Conference at 11-24-1-5 while Brantford is a point behind in seventh at 11-23-1-4. The Brampton Bombers are two points behind the 99ers in eighth at 12-27-1-0. Kitchener is fifth at 18-21-0-2, 10 points up on the Canes.
“If we’re going to start clicking at this time, that’s perfect for us,” Brent Wallace said. “Yes, there’s been some changeover all the way through from head office all the way down. The boys came out and it was great to see.”
“We’ve definitely struggled a little bit this year, but we’re on the rise,” said defenceman Brett Hunter who scored the winning goal. “We’re definitely looking to go into playoffs looking strong.”
Hunter fired home the winning goal just over a minute and a half into the second overtime period, a three-on-three frame.
“I just came off the bench and one of my players just set me up real nice,” he said. “I saw an opening and went in and took the chance and it paid off.”
The goal was Hunter’s second of the season, equaling his total from his rookie season last season. It also gave him one more point (eight) than he had last season. He was mobbed by his teammates after scoring the goal.
“I do not score many goals so you see the boys get excited because it’s a big one for me,” Hunter said.
The Canes had to rally for the win after a slow start. Brantford scored twice in the first period and outshot the Canes 20-5 in the period.
“The first period was a bad start, but hey, we came off a three-point weekend,” Brent Wallace said. “We had to talk to them in between, settle them down, and we knew we could come out and win this thing. We came out and the boys just played great together.”
The Canes came back with goals early in the second and third periods to tie it up and force the extra time. Connor LePage scored 68 seconds into the second period and Keanan Stewart tallied 41 seconds into the third on a power play.
Anthony Mota had two assists for the Canes while Nathan George, Payton McLeish, Bradley Smith and Aiden Matekovic each had one.
Louis Latta and Jack Gaffney hit for the goals for Brantford while assists were awarded to Rewdy Scott, Gaffney, Hunter Dubecki and Christian Polillo.
Jet Greaves picked up the win in net as made 44 saves while Mat Woroniuk took the loss with 20 saves.
The Canes went 1-for-5 on their power play and kept Brantford scoreless on two power plays.
The Canes are to play conference-leading Listowel (35-5-0-1) at Listowel Friday at 7:30 p.m. and host the 99ers again Saturday at the Sleeman Centre, also at 7:30 p.m.
Hurricanes 3 99ers 2 (2 OT)
1. Brantford, Latta (Scott, Gaffney) 3:37 sh
2. Brantford, Gaffney (Dubecki, Polillo) 15:52
Penalties: Thompson Brant (head contact, head contact misconduct), 1:59; Chard Gue (interference), 6:40.
3. Guelph, LePage (Mota, N.George) 1:08
Penalties: Bourdeau Brant (tripping), 3:55; James Brant (goalie interference), 18:46.
4. Guelph, Stewart (McLeish, Mota) 0:41 pp
Penalties: Lylyk Gue (roughing after whistle), 5:00; Dubecki Brant (high sticking), 14:20; Woroniuk Brant (delay of game), 19:09.
5. Guelph, Hunter (Smith, Matekovic) 1:39
Shots on Goal
Goalies: Woroniuk (OL, 23 shots-20 saves), Brantford; Greaves (W, 46 shots-44 saves), Guelph.
Power Plays (goals-chances): Brantford 0-2; Guelph 1-5.
- Guelph Sports Journal