Only one week of regular season play remains for Shield
GRAVENHURST - Two 8-1 weekend wins are keeping the South Muskoka Shield in the thick of the playoff race as the Greater Metro Junior A Hockey League club enters is last week of regular season play.
With two games left in the bank and four points up for grabs, the Shield find themselves just four points back of Bracebridge for third seed overall and hold a narrow two-point advantage over the Powassan Eagles. Head coach and general manager Dallyn Telford and his crew have a tougher task ahead, having to play their final six games on the road including the two this past weekend.
The winning weekend got underway Feb. 8 in Rama against the first-year expansion team Aces. The Shield wasted no time claiming an advantage with Larry McShane scoring off a Brandon Luksa helper in the first 17 seconds of action. Ryan Miller would add one barely two minutes later and by the eight-minute mark team captain Luksa scored his first of three goals on the evening to take an easy 3-0 lead to the second. Including two more from Luksa, the Shield potted five goals in the second to Rama’s lone marker for the 8-1 final as both offences chilled off in the third.
Shield netminder Tanner swift picked up the game’s first star, setting aside 35 of 36 shots on goal.
The Shield’s road show toured south to the GTA Feb. 9 to take on the Toronto Attack in yet another 8-1 victory that saw Donny Danroth and Andrey Novikov pace the team offensively with two goals and three assists apiece.
The team put up five of their eight in the first period while Jake McTaggart got the start between the pipes and shut out the Attack until the final minute of the second when the Toronto team managed their only goal on the powerplay.
The two wins keep South Muskoka in fourth and a loss for Powassan gives the Gravenhurst-based club a small bit of breathing room heading into their final two games. The Shield will head off for Lefroy Feb. 15 and end their regular season in Bobcaygeon Feb. 17.