After falling on Thursday to the Trenton Golden Hawks by a score of 3-2 the Hurricanes would go into this weekend looking to bounce back from their tough loss to the Hawks. Today’s action would see the Newmarket Hurricanes host former Hurricanes Matt Galati and Jeff Heard and their Pickering Panthers. Today’s starting goaltenders would be September Player of the Month winner Matt Wintjes and Spencer Bacon for the visitors. The Canes would start the first period with all kinds of pressure and piling on loads of scoring chances which would lead to them finding the back of the net at 3:26 of the opening period as Elliot Burlon who was appearing in his second game would put the Canes on the board with the assists coming from Calvin Higley and Brandon Francisco. This goal would come shortly after Pickering was caught with too many men on the ice. Pickering’s goalie would now go onto be bombarded with shots, but Bacon would go on to make huge save after huge save to keep the score line from getting out of hand. Aiden Wallace would have to serve a penalty for boarding at 17:36 after sending Newmarket Forward Daniel Leavens on a hit that fans would question whether it was a hit from behind. This boarding call would send the Hurricanes to their second power play of the contest and this man advantage would see Newmarket score their only power play goal out of four attempts on the afternoon. Canes Defense man Austin Rigney would be credited with the special team’s goal thanks to his tip of a Brandon Francisco shot. Calvin Higley would be awarded the second assist on the goal coming at 19:11 of the opening frame. The Hurricanes and their fans would see their team have a 2-0 lead and have a completely one sided lead on the shot clock tallying 16 shots on the Pickering goal as Matt Wintjes would only face 4 Pickering shots in the opening period.
The 2nd period would see Sean Walker serving the remainder of his High Sticking penalty that he had picked up with just 40 seconds remaining in period number one. With period number 2 now underway the crowd wouldn’t have to wait long to cheer as at 4:28 of the second period Captain Chris Chiste would assist Dan Leavens on his only goal of the night after a beautiful pass that would send Leavens in all alone to put the Hurricanes ahead of their opponents by a score of 3-0. The Offensive pressure would continue as the Canes would once again gather scoring chance after scoring chance including one that would Brycin Morrison streak in to beat the goalie upstairs but not the post. Matt Wintjes bid for a shutout would come to an end just thirty seconds later as Pickering Forward Brodie Tutton would see the visiting Panthers get on the board with assists coming from Cody Doiron and Jeff Heard a name that a short while ago Newmarket Fans would cheer. The Panthers would then cut their deficit to one as Robert Lepine would collect the only assist on Dylan Hutton`s goal at 14:54 of the 2nd period. The Hurricanes would see themselves once again leading in shots by a score of 15-11 but their all important lead was now only 3-2.
The third period would start and the Canes would pick up where they left off and would once again be controlling the play back checking very well and forcing the Panthers off the puck and again seeing many scoring chances present themselves but Newmarket unable to find that much needed insurance marker. Scoring chances for both teams seemed a little closer this time as goalie Matt Wintjes was there when needed as he would make a few clutch saves to settle things down for his team. Action in this period would see the crowd hold their collective breath as a shot would ring off the goalies best friend and a player’s worst enemy the post. Just when it seemed Newmarket was about to end the night with a big 2 points in the standings the Pickering Panthers had other plans and that is exactly what happened as at 19:36 of the final period and an empty net at the other end of the ice an unmarked Robert Lepine with assists coming from Derek Sheppard and Cody Doiron. Lepine would then fire the puck into the gaping cage to even the score at three a piece which would silence the home town crowd who would see both teams earn a single point and prepare to fight for the bonus point in the extra frame. Shots would see Nemwarket leading 10-6.
Overtime would solve nothing as the score would remain 3-3 after the 5 minutes of extra time would expire resulting in the shootout was what would decide this afternoons winner. The final shot count would finish with the Hurricanes having a game total of 45 and the Panthers finishing with 25, the teams would each pick up 4 shots in the overtime period. Higley and Lepine would both score for their clubs in the opening round of the shootout. Round 2 would see Newmarkets Brandon Francisco`s attempt stopped but Dylan Hutton would score for Pickering meaning Daniel Leavens would have to score to force extra shooters. Unfortunately extra shooters would not be needed and Leavens shootout attempt would be stopped giving the visiting Panthers the 4-3 win and the extra point.
The Hurricanes will now lock eyes on their next opponents the Whitby Fury. This game will take place in Cobourg as the Cougars will be hosting the leagues Governors Showcase Weekend next Saturday night. My next blog will come on October 21 as the Aurora Tigers will take the short trip to Newmarket in Game 1 of the Battle of Younge Street.
Until then thanks for reading