Special to The Standard
As I left the Whitby Iroquois arena late Sunday afternoon, I fully expected to see the Durham Regional Police waiting to take Whitby goaltender Nate McDonald in on robbery charges, after what he did to the Lindsay Muskies Sunday afternoon. It sounds cliché but, the 5-1 final score, in favour of Whitby, was definitely not indicative of the game we had just witnessed.
Whitby came out with a lot of jump, in the early moments, and were rewarded at 1:31, when Brock Welsh ripped one over the blocker of Tyler Richardson, from Riley McCutcheon and Shane Bull. The play then became much more even, as time wore on, but the Fury found themselves up by two at the 8:00 minute mark, when Welsh nicely finished a clear breakaway set up, by passes from Joe Roy and Shane Bull.
The Muskies kept pressing though, and got to within one, when Noah Dollo scored his 7th goal of the season. The Fish continued to press throughout the first, but could not grab the equalizer. With just 1:48 left in the first, a shot was wristed into the Lindsay zone, that appeared to be going well wide until the stick of Matt Sherwin redirected it past Richardson, giving Whitby a fortunate 3-1 lead, heading into the dressing room.
Blake Curran started the second period in goal for Lindsay, and although he was solid when he was called upon, it was his counterpart in the Whitby goal who stole the show. The Muskies were able to dominate for long periods of time, but could not get anything past McDonald, who made a number of big stops. In fact, as so often happens, following a long period of Lindsay pressure, the Fury were able to break down the ice and, at the 11:59 mark, Shane Bull made the score 4-1.
In the third period there was only a single goal, which made the final 5-1. That goal came at 12:47, and was scored by Alex Bourne, from Josh Battistella and Jacob Sirizzotti. The final shots on goal were 40-34, in favour of the Muskies, but nobody disagreed when the in house announcer named McDonald the first star of the game.
The Muskies are now off, until they host Cobourg on Friday night.