After finishing the Men’s Roller Hockey League regular season on August 2 tied for first place, the New Blue and White Lightning met head on in quarter final playoff action Thursday, August 9 and again, it was tough to come up with a winner.
This time out the two played to a 4-4 tie in regulation time to force a five minute, sudden-death overtime period.
Just a little over one minute into the overtime Lightning’s Brandon Buma produced the deciding goal against Blue goaltender Will McIntire on a Rob Thurler feed.
The game was close in the early minutes with the Lightning taking a 1-0 lead with just 2:15 left in the first period on a Dave Summers goal set up by Tyler Brown and Brandon Buma.
The Lightning edge lasted until well into the second period when Steve Mattice stretched it to 2-0 with help from Tyler Gallinger.
As the minutes ticked away in the second period, Aron Sherrer put New Blue on the board to close the gap to 2-1.
The Lightning, however, charged right back with Summers counting his second goal of the game to end the second period with Lightning leading 3-1.
Minutes into the final frame, Steve Mattice pushed the Lightning lead to a comfortable 4-1.
But it wasn’t over yet as New Blue came charging back.
Randy Markell got it rolling with help from Garreth Cochrane and Aron Sherrer. Then it was Jamie McIntosh setting up Cochrane for the New Blue’s third counter.
With four minutes remaining on the clock Connor Hodgson, with help from McIntosh and Markell,struck to even it at 4-4.
In other action, the Morewood Monkeys and the Red Rockets met head on to stay in the running for this year’s league playoff championship and in the end the Monkeys prevailed with an 8-7 victory.
Again it was a close encounter as the Rockets built a 4-3 lead in the first period on a pair of goals from Chad McMillan and singles from David Patterson and Chris Phifer.
Answering for the Monkeys were Tyler Jones with a pair and Justin Heuff with a single.
The Monkeys evened it 4-4 in the second period with a Tyler Jones goal assisted by Mike Thompson.
The Rockets got it back when Chad McMillan counted his third goal but again they couldn’t hold on.
Jake Byers scored unassisted with just over two minutes left in the second period to even it, 5-5 and set the stage for an exciting final period.
Early in the third, the Monkeys pulled ahead 7-5 on goals by Mike Thompson and Heuff.
The Monkeys were able to protect their two goal advantage until late in the frame when Chris Phifer cut the gap to 7-6.
With 1:05 remaining on the clock, Mike Thompson pushed it out of reach with the Monkey’s eighth goal. The Rockets got one more against Monkey goaltender Kyle Shane in the 8-7 loss.
With their win against the New Blue, Lightning received a bye into the league’s championship final scheduled for Thursday, August 23. The New Blue advances to play the Morewood Monkeys in semi-final action this Thursday, August 16. The winner of this game advances to take on Lightning in the championship while the loser will play the Red Rockets for the consolation.