Home ice prevailed in the second round of the GOJHL playoffs, as the Hamilton Kilty B’s toppled the Fort Erie Meteors 3-1 at Dave Andreychuk Mountain Arena in Game 7 on Friday night.
With 2:24 remaining in the third period and the score tied at 1-1 and all signs pointing to overtime, Colin MacDougall recovered a loose puck with his back facing the Meteors net – turning and firing a shot past Duncan Nichols Delay in the Fort Erie goal to give Hamilton a 2-1 lead.
Meteors fans traveled well to the game, making themselves heard early and often. Hamilton fended off an unyielding Fort Erie attack in the opening minutes before the game settled down, remaining scoreless through one.
Once things got going again in the second period, it was the Kilty B’s who struck first. With 13:05 still on the clock, Nolan Underwood picked the puck out of a scrum in the high slot and quickly shot it over the shoulder of Nichols-Delay and into the net.
A scrum after the whistle a few minutes later resulted in a Fort Erie power play, and the Meteors responded with a goal of their own. Brendan Krawczyk worked the puck off the boards to a waiting Joshua DiFrancesco, who one-timed it for the tying goal.
The third period was tight, as expected. Nobody on either team wanted to make a mistake. But as the clock ticked down towards the final minutes, it seemed like the Kilty B’s really didn’t want to risk a sudden death overtime in a Game 7 they hadn’t expected to be playing coming into the series. They pressed hard for the deciding goal, and you could almost feel a sigh of relief in the arena (from the home fans at least) as MacDougall scored.
The Meteors didn’t get much pressure with the net empty, going for the equalizer. After less than a minute of zone time the Kilty B’s cleared the puck, and Justin Monteith put it into the yawning cage to seal the win.
Braedyn McIntosh was spectacular when called upon in net for Hamilton in this one, as he has been for pretty much the entire season. He made 17/18 saves, and smartly covered the puck in situations where Fort Erie was starting to sustain pressure. There’s clearly a sense of calm that he provides the team playing in front of him, and that will be vital heading into a third round series with the St. Catharines Falcons, who just disposed of the Caledonia Corvairs in four games.