There’s something about home cooking that gets Nathan Phillips going.
After his three-point performance in Monday night’s 4-1 Game 5 win over the Fort Erie Meteors, the Hamilton Kilty B’s forward now has five points in the series – all at home, and all in victories.
Phillips assisted on the game-winning goal scored 6:08 into the second period by Connor Haynes and scored two of his own, the second being highlight of the night material, helping the Kilty B’s take a 3-2 lead in the series.
Doug Doren scored the only Meteors goal in a chippy game that saw the teams pick up 26 penalty minutes combined. Down to a win-or-stay-home matchup in Fort Erie on Wednesday night, the Meteors will take comfort in the fact that the home team has still yet to lose in this series.
Victims of slow starts in many postseason games so far, Hamilton had the switch flipped on from the get-go. Already on their second power play of the night, the Kilty B’s struck first courtesy of Phillips, taking a beautiful cross-seam pass from Dylan Abbamont and popping the bottle sitting on the top of the Fort Erie net with his shot to make it 1-0, 7:24 into the game.
It took until near the midway point of the second period for Doren to respond. Marcus Regina poked a puck past the Kilty B’s defenceman, who tied up Regina. Doren was following the play and picked up the puck, taking one stride towards the slot and ripping it past Braedyn McIntosh in the Hamilton net. The game stayed even at 1-1 into the second intermission.
With a daunting must-win game in Fort Erie possibly on the horizon, the home team came out buzzing in the final period. It took six minutes until the rebound from a Phillips shot bounced off of Haynes standing in front of the net and in, but Hamilton had many chances before that – and they kept coming after. Only 40 seconds later, Phillips took the puck out of the Fort Erie corner and cut towards the net, flicking the puck up and batting it out of the air and past Meteors goalie Duncan Nichols-Delay. It’s a play that the written word can’t do justice, so watch below:
Down two, the Meteors pulled Nichols-Delay for the extra attacker with roughly three minutes remaining. After a couple of missed attempts, Justin Monteith got a clear shot at the empty net from just inside the blueline and put the game away with his third of the postseason.
McIntosh, who made 17 saves, got an assist on the last goal. His counterpart across the ice, Nichols-Delay, faced only 12 shots in the Fort Erie net but was busier than that total implies.