Brantford 99ers soundly defeated the Collingwood Blues 5-2 in Ontario Junior Hockey League (OJHL) action on Thursday, October 14.
The Blues came out quickly to start the game, spending the opening minute on the attack in the offensive zone. The 99ers responded but then ran into early penalty trouble when they were called for a bench minor for too many men. The Blues spent the entire man advantage in the 99ers zone but couldn’t beat goalie Justin Wu as the teams remained scoreless six minutes into the opening frame. Brantford responded with two quality scoring chances after killing off the penalty but Blues goalie Samuel Moncada stood strong in his crease.
Both teams then spent the next several minutes battling in the neutral zone before the 99ers opened the scoring with six minutes left, taking advantage of a scrabble in front of Moncada to take a 1-0 lead.
Collingwood pushed the pace in an effort to tie the game, doing so three minutes later after another scramble in front of the net to tie things at one. The 99ers responded less than a minute later when defenceman Kris Fugalis’ point shot beat a screened Moncada, giving Brantford a 2-1 lead late in the first period. The 99ers performed well in the back half of the period, outworking and outskating the Blues as they took the 2-1 lead into the first intermission.
Brantford started the second stanza on the penalty kill for 1:29, killing it off with ease then they went on the attack. 99ers forward Adrian Rebelo ripped a shot from the high slot past Moncada to give the home team a 3-1 advantage early in the second period. The 99ers continued to push the pace, led by a strong forecheck and good offensive zone pressure to keep the Blues hemmed in their own zone for stretches at a time. Brantford increased their lead when forward Easton Wainwright ripped another point shot past Moncada to open up a 4-1 lead before the period was ten minutes old.
Brantford continued to dominate the Blues in the back half of the period then ran into more penalty trouble when forward Kurt Watson was sent off for roughing. The 99ers killed off the minor penalty but momentum swung in the Blues favour for the last five minutes. Collingwood applied some pressure but couldn’t cut into the 99ers lead as they had a 4-1 lead after 40 minutes.
Both teams came out slowly to start the opening few minutes of the third period then the 99ers were called for their second bench minor of the game, for too many men, just over 4 minutes in. Brantford killed it off easily but the teams were content to battle in the neutral zone for the next three minutes. The Blues played tentatively while the 99ers were sitting back on their lead through the opening ten minutes then the Blues got back within two at the 10:47 mark of the final frame. Brantford had a very quick response, regaining their three-goal lead 25 seconds later after a nice effort by 99ers defenceman Jack Robertson.
Brantford had to kill off their fifth penalty of the game shortly after Robertson’s goal and then skated to the easy 5-2 victory over the Blues.
The 99ers were led to victory by Brendan Anderson, who recorded a goal and an assist, Fugalis, who also had a goal and an assist, and defencemen Bensen Moore, who recorded three assists. 99ers netminder Justin Wu was solid in goal, making 44 saves for the victory.