CRAIG SCHROTER Special to The Standard
Ryan Smith’s first two goals of his Muskies career, along with Luke Wyatt’s first as a Fish, helped lock up an 8-4 win for the Muskies Friday night, at the Rec Complex.
Smith wasted no time getting the Muskies on the board, batting home a rebound past Pickering goaltender Graham Schropp, at 2:46. Brett Poulin and Noah Dollo assisted on the goal. Moments later, Smith was stopped on a breakaway, but at 9:53, Lindsay defenceman, Owen Barnett made it 2-0, snapping an unassisted goal high on the blocker side.
Lindsay goaltender Sean Green was busy in the period as well. He made a big pad save on a point blank shot, preserving the two goal lead.
With just 30 seconds left in the period, Cole Robbins gave Lindsay a 3-0 lead, with Dollo picking up his second helper of the night.
Each team came into the game looking for their first win, and the Panthers weren’t about to go down without a fight.
Just 39 seconds into the second frame Adam Wheaton put a back hand shot over Green’s glove from Tiger McDonald.
From that point Lindsay cranked up the pressure but Schroop did his best to keep his team in the game. The big saves paid off, as Anthony Stavrou got Pickering within one, at 7:05. Dollo notched a goal at 8:22, finishing off a goal mouth scramble and putting the Muskies up 4-2. Braydon Leeking and Matt McNamara were given the assists.
Eric Becker, once again, got the Panthers back within one on a power play, beating Green to the high blocker side. The helpers on that goal went to Quinn Wheeler and Russell Nowry. Moments later, Dollo excited the crowd with a brilliant toe drag move to get in close, but his shot rattled off the post.
Smith scored his second of the game for the Muskies, while being tackled by a defender, at 17:37, restoring the two goal bulge. Dollo picked up another assist on that goal.
Early in the third, the Panthers found themselves with a long two man advantage and called their timeout to get things set up, however they were not able to take advantage. At 5:05 the Muskies regained their three goal lead, when Kyle Diamond scored from Smith and Cody McNabb.
On a Pickering power play at 6:23, Eric Becker slapped home his second of the night from Daniel Lowe and Russell Nowry, making it a 6-4 game, but that is as close as the Panthers would get on this night.
Dayton Kent ripped a power play bullet from the slot at 12:58, from Cam Lamport and Brock Traill. Luke Wyatt’s first goal, as a Muskie, rounded out the scoring at 13:41, from Braydon Leeking.
The first win was a big relief for the team. In the previous four contests they had lost each by one goal, save for one that they lost by two goals, one of them an empty net goal.
After the game, Smith and Wyatt were all smiles talking about their first goals.
Smith said, his first of two simply felt great. “I just kind of found the puck sitting right there.” He smiled while describing the first.
Wyatt was equally eager to describe his first, saying the puck came right to him off the draw, and he was able to get a good low shot on goal.
The next game for the Muskies is Sunday evening in Aurora.
Thanks everyone, have a great Thanksgiving.
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