June 11 – The storylines were stacked up and the stakes were sky high ahead of Sunday’s tilt between the Saints and Ironheads. Only two points separated them in the standings, with West Durham narrowly holding on to the final playoff spot in the East. Simply put, this was the biggest game of the year for both teams.
Cory Campbell got the nod in net for the Saints, while the Ironheads countered with Tyler Newman.
The opening frame started tentatively as both sides eased into the game, but that changed in a flash near the five-minute mark. The Ironheads struck three times in under a minute to run out to an early lead. The Saints could’ve crumbled, but instead they dug in, starting with an outside rip from Captain Eric Mawdsley to get Newmarket on the board. Angus Rawding followed that up with a pair of goals in 39 seconds, and just like that, the game was even again. The first period buzzer sounded with score at 3-3.
In the second, the Saints ratcheted up the pace and took their first lead on Mawdsley’s second of the game. A few minutes later, Dante Romano extended the lead to 5-3. Penalty trouble reared up for the Saints after that, with the team playing with four or fewer guys for most of the rest of the period. Despite being down, it did little to slow the Saints. Josh Connors scored four-on-four to make it 6-3; then, on a big penalty kill of a five-minute major, Kavon Pinnock and Dougie Crawford added shorthanded tallies. The Ironheads managed to score once in the period to go into the break with the Saints up 8-4.
The third period was a wild one with five goals, four on the power play, scored and 56 minutes of penalties handed out. Luca Romano and Mawdsley, his third and fourth of the game, scored for the Saints. Luca also ended his night early after a mild disagreement with Riley Rogers with 30 seconds to go.
“Proud of our group. We knew we had to take care of business at home and we did just that.” said Saints Head Coach, Dan Ransom Sr. "It was a playoff type atmosphere and tensions ran high, but we need to stay out of the box if we want to have a shot at the dance."
Final score: Saints 11 - Ironheads 6.
Up next - the Saints drive for the post-season continues Tuesday night as they host the Halton Hills Bulldogs. First faceoff is set for at 8PM at Ray Twinney Recreation Complex.