Special to The Standard
UXBRIDGE: The Uxbridge Bruins were back on the road to the Clarence Schmalz Cup this week, hosting Game 1 of the Orr Division Cougar Cup Finals against the North Kawartha Knights on Monday, March 4th at the Bear Den.
The Knights appeared to catch the Bruins hibernating in a Game 1 blowout, skating to a 6-1 victory.
The two teams appeared polar opposites in Game 1. The Bruins struggled to find consistent intensity after a week-long layoff from game action following a sweep of the rival Port Perry MoJacks in a Battle of North Durham in the Orr Division semi-finals. Meanwhile, the Knights had engaged in a back-and-forth duel with the Lakefield Chiefs that saw the Knights stumble after taking a three-games-to-none lead, ultimately winning Game 7 on home ice on Sunday, March 3rd.
North Kawartha’s Jesse Douglas - an original member of the team - scored less than three minutes into Monday’s game to give the Knights an early lead, and they never looked back.
The Bruins kept pace with the Knights in the opening period, but a North Kawartha goal with just 9 seconds remaining in the opening period put an extra bit of gallop in the visitors’ step.
The Knights would carry over the positive momentum into the second period, as they netted a power play goal just 35 seconds into the action to take a 3-0 lead.
Just over two minutes later, the Knights struck again, extending their lead to 4-0 before the Bruins got their first bit of sustained pressure in the offensive zone courtesy of Robert Freckelton and Aiden Reilly.
However, the Knights would net another goal with just under nine minutes to play in the second period, chasing starting goalie Jacob Gordon from the crease, as he was replaced by Ryan McConkey.
With their backs against the wall, McConkey turned aside some strong scoring chances by the Knights down the stretch in the middle frame.
Stefan Palatsidis scored just over a minute into the third period, as the Bruins broke up the shutout bid by North Kawartha’s Noah Miller. The lone assist on the play was credited to Simon Feig.
However, that would be as close as the Bruins would get, as the Knights rode off into the sunset adding another goal in the third period to make the final score 6-1.
- The Bruins were back in action on Wednesday night in Apsley (after The Standard’s press deadline) for Game 2.
- Game 3 is slated for Uxbridge on Friday, March 8th at 7:45 p.m.
- The action shifts to Apsley for Game 4 on Saturday night, returning to Uxbridge for Game 5 - if necessary - on Monday, March 11th at 8:45 p.m.
- North Kawartha is slated to host Game 6 on Wednesday, March 13th and if needed, the winner-take-all Game 7 will be at the Bear Den at 7:45 p.m. on Friday, March 15th.
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