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Blues jump out to 2-0 series lead over Flyers

Scoring only one goal over the course of seven periods has left the Leamington Flyers at a 2-0 deficit in their best-of-seven series versus the Collingwood Blues. 

The Flyers mustered only 22 shots on Collingwood in Friday night’s (April 5) 3-0 opening game loss and played Sunday, April 7 here in front of 1,485 fans, falling 2-1 in overtime. 

In both contests they have shown they can play with the Blues but could not manufacture goals when opportunities presented themselves. 

The lack of scoring was reflected by head coach Dale Mitchell prior to game two on Sunday.

“We have to find a way to score,” he said. “They’re a hard skating team and don’t give you much. We knew this was going to be a tough series, and we need to be ready to play at home in front of our great crowd.” 

Friday night in Collingwood, a key factor for the Flyers was the loss of forward Nathan Leek at 1:39 of the opening period. Leek was assessed a check-from-behind and game misconduct and his early exit forced coach Mitchell to adjust his lineup.

Collingwood notched a single goal midway through the opening frame on a Flyers’ pass that was picked off. 

In the second period, a two-on-one breakaway ended with a right-to-left feed that Jack Rimmer slotted. 

Sebastian Gatto thwarted Jack Silverman’s penalty shot attempt at 14:46 to keep it at 2-0. 

Late in the third, with an extra-attacker replacing Gatto, a two-on-one completed the scoring into the empty net for a 3-0 Blues’ win. 

Sunday’s large crowd witnessed a very even contest that saw both teams control portions of the game. 

The opening frame was scoreless before the Flyers drew first blood at 5:42 of the second period when Jason Davenport and Anthony Ciaramitaro pressured the Blues around goalie Noah Pak, and Alex Cunningham plucked a rebound and slotted the lone Leamington marker. 

But Leamington’s 1-0 lead didn’t last long. At 8:57, the Blues’ Landon Wright got his stick on a waist-high puck and redirected it past Gatto to even the score. Many people thought Wright’s goal came on a high stick, but the refs and linesman chatted about it and the goal stood. 

From that juncture onward, both sides jockeyed for the go-ahead tally. 

Several times throughout the game — especially in the third — the Flyers had some golden chances to score, including a three-on-nobody breakaway that ended with no shots on Pak and some chances around the net when players were in position but did not get a shot away. 

The game ended at 7:05 of the first overtime after a prolonged series of plays in the Flyers’ end zone when Wright netted his second goal of the game to win it.

Game three was being played in Collingwood on Tuesday.

Upcoming Games: 

Game 4 at Leamington on Thurs. Apr. 11 at 7:10 pm.

*Game 5 at Collingwood on Sat. Apr. 13 at 7 pm.

*Game 6 at Leamington on Mon. Apr. 15 at 7:10 pm

*Game 7 at Collingwood on  Wed. Apr. 17 at 7 pm.

* if necessary

This week’s
online edition

Wednesday, July 17, 2024

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