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Buitenhuis Defeats Former Blades Teammates 4-2

The Toronto Lakeshore Patriots made their way down to Sixteen Mile Spots Complex for the first in a home and home battle with the Oakville Blades. Friday marked the first time that the Blades met former goaltender Evan Buitenhuis at the other end after trading him away back in December. With the Blades in a three way for the final playoff position in the South-West Division, every point in this time of the year is important. Unfortunately for the home team, a victory would not become a reality as Buitenhuis led his new teammates to a 4-2 victory.

It didn’t take long for the Blades to put a damper on Buitenhuis' s return to Oakville. After Mark Bzowey fanned on a shot from the right face-off dot, David Dischiavi managed to chip the puck over the glove of the 20 year old goaltender for the 1-0 lead early. Lakeshore managed to fight back with a goal just minutes later when Cory Lauer picked up the puck in front of the Oakville net and made no mistake it putting it in the back of the net. The Blades were unhappy with the goal, as it was clear a defenceman touched the puck on the delayed penalty call, but the goal would stand.

The Blades had a few minutes of pressure in the ensuing minutes after Chris Polotek drew a four minute power-play after getting high sticked in the cheek. Unfortunately, the pressure wouldn't last for long as a Mike Prapavesis blast from the point was tipped by Andreas Tsogkas for the 2-1 Lakeshore lead on just three shots.

Much to the displeasure of the Blades faithful, Buitenhuis was incredible in his comeback. Whether it be his fantastic glove save on Kris Bennett or his lunging shoulder save on Austin Clapham, it was clear he came to play. His strong performance would begin to rub off on his teammates, who took a 3-1 lead after a rocket from Robert Powers. As a result, the Blades would make a goaltender change, replacing McGlynn with the player Oakville got in return for Boots, Mark Manolescu.

With about eight minutes remaining, the Blades looked defeated. Unable to create any pressure, the majority of the period was spent in front of Mano in an attempt by Toronto to put the game away. Luckily for the Blades, Sean Kohler managed to get Boots out of position after sliding into the former Blades goaltender, giving Jackson Bales the easy empty net marker.

The Blades were dealt a tough blow with two minutes remaining. After Kevin Shier crushed Ross Sloan into the boards from behind, Daniel Jelic was ejected for seeking revenge on the Toronto Lakeshore star. As a result, the Patriots penalty was negated, allowing Brandon Willett to score on an incredible lone man effort. The goal would be all it took for the Patriots to seal the deal, closing the book on the first of two games with a 4-2 victory.