The Brantford 99ers defeated the Markham Royals 3-2 in a back and forth game on Sunday, October 17.
Both teams came out strong in the first period, with great scoring chances at either end of the ice. The 99ers made a strong first impression throwing some big hits in the first couple of minutes of the game. The Royals looked shaken up and Brantford capitalized on it, dominating play for the next few minutes.
As the Royals were fighting to get the puck out of their own end, they were called for interference. The 99ers power play units looked strong, controlling play in the offensive zone for nearly the entire two minute penalty. As time expired in the penalty, the 99ers continued to fire pucks at Royals goaltender Ethan Cook. Seconds after the Royals were back to even strength, a shot from Brantford’s Ethan Klemen found the back of the net giving the 99ers a 1-0 lead with five minutes to go in the first.
The Royals were quick to bounce back after the 99ers goal, spending the next minute on the attack. They were given a chance to tie it up when Brantford was sent to the penalty box for hooking. The 99ers made up for their teammate’s mistake, killing off the penalty with ease. As the clock ticked down on the first period, the 99ers managed to hang onto their 1-0 lead.
The second period started just like the first. The teams were well matched and fought hard, covering all 200 feet of the ice. The goaltenders at either end held their ground as each team took turns with scoring chances for the first four minutes of the period. The fast pace of the game was interrupted by a tripping penalty called against the Royals. The 99ers came out on the attack, looking to extend their lead with the man advantage. Cook kept the 99ers lead limited to one as he made some big saves on the penalty kill. After the penalty ended, the Royals gained momentum and controlled play in the offensive zone. A couple of smooth passes led to a goal by Khaden Henry, tying the game at one.
Play was balanced for the next several minutes as both teams were fighting to take the lead. Five minutes after Henry’s goal, Royals forward Noah Tyrrell snuck one past 99ers goaltender Ben Bonisteel to take a 2-1 lead.
The 99ers responded with physical plays and great scoring chances. They fought hard but headed to the penalty box for tripping with three and a half minutes left. The 99ers were short handed but definitely didn’t look like it to start the penalty kill. Desperate to make something happen on their power play, the Royals got physical and took a roughing penalty. The teams played 4-on-4 for 1:15. Neither team could break through as both penalties expired and time ran out in the second.
Markham came out fast to start the third, but the 99ers weren’t going down without a fight. The game was balanced for the first seven minutes of the period as the Royals held onto their 2-1 lead. The 99ers got a chance to tie the game up when Markham was called for holding. Brantford dominated on the power play. As the penalty time ticked down, the scoreboard froze before it expired and the Royals bench realized and called Andrew Tsotsos out of the box. Officials let the play continue as the 99ers were on the attack. Seconds after the Royals were back to even strength, Brantford’s Easton Wainright scored from the point to tie the game at two halfway through the third.
Both teams fought hard for the next five minutes. Brantford appeared to have the edge, spending more time on the offence than the Royals and firing pucks at the net. It paid off for them as Brendan Anderson shot a rebound past Cook to give the 99ers a 3-2 lead. The Royals made it clear that they weren’t out of the game yet as they spent the next couple of minutes in Brantford’s zone. Fighting to hold onto the lead, the 99ers took a tripping penalty with 1:23 to go in the third. Before play resumed, Markham called a timeout to create their game plan for the final minute of the game. As the timeout ended, Royals goaltender remained on the bench to give Markham a 6-on-4 advantage. Bonisteel remained calm in his crease, despite some close shots, to hold on and solidify the 99ers 3-2 win.
The 99ers were led to victory by Klemen and Wainright who each tallied a goal and an assist, and Bonisteel who made 36 saves in the win.