The Brampton Inferno had an opportunity to jump into first place with a win on Friday night but couldn’t capitalize as they were downed by Toronto. With Toronto, Niagara and Ohsweken all jammed atop the standings going into Saturday afternoon, a Brampton win paired with a Durham Turfdogs victory over the Lock Monsters would force a virtual five-way tie for first overall. For Brampton to win, they’d have to defeat the winless Barrie Blizzard.
Brampton’s Tinning brothers, Scott and Mark, connected in the first minute to put Brampton on the board but a natural hat-trick from Caleb Wiles over slightly more than four minutes would hand the Blizzard a 3-1 lead after one. Eric Benesch would continue the run scoring his first of two, and the only Blizzard goals in the second, just over a minute in. Brampton would spread four goals around the two by Benesch to tie the game 5-5 heading to the halftime break.
The Inferno came out hard to start the third quarter scoring, and taking their first lead of the game, twenty-nine seconds in off the stick of Scott Tinning. However, that was all the offense Brampton would muster in the frame as the Blizzard would spread four goals through the quarter to lead 9-6 heading for the fourth quarter.
With Brampton getting a number of early chances off the transition of Mark Farthing, and Derek Collins denying all of them, controversy hit the game. Tory Gardner took an outlet pass from goaltender Jay Preece and broke in alone. Gardner jumped for the shot and landed in the crease as Collins made a shoulder save. Gardner ran out of the crease as the ball rolled down Collins’ back into the net. The official near the net signalled a goal, but after objection from Barrie’s bench and an official’s conference, the goal was called back.
When play resumed, Ben McCullough scored shorthanded as the clock approached four minutes remaining. In the final minute, on the powerplay, Jordan Coffey also scored for Brampton to pull them within one. But the ensuing faceoff was won by Barrie and they were able to kill the clock winning their first franchise game 9-8.
Collins picked up the win and said, “We’ve slowly been building towards this win. In our early games, slow starts killed us but [Caleb] Wiles got us going early and we kept pushing.” Defending defensive player of the week, Jay Preece, was saddled with a loss. Wiles led all players with three goals, while Ryan Campbell had six points (one goal, five assists).
Week eight concludes with back-to-back games at the Mattamy Athletic Centre on Sunday and Monday with Toronto hosting the Iroquois Ironmen and Durham Turfdogs respectively.
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