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Oakville Forces One Game Playoff With Big Win Over Buzzers

Coming into the final game of the season against St. Michael's, the game plan was simple: win, and you play again. Lose, and the season's done. After a streak that almost made it impossible for the Blades to gain a playoff birth earlier in the month, Oakville managed to turn things around with two victories in a row heading into Friday's contest. St. Mike's wasn't going to be an easy opponent for the Blades, however, having had their way with the club during the previous two meetings in 2014. All previous history meant squat on the 53rd game of the season, as an incredible performance from the home team resulted in a 7-2 Oakville victory.

It only took them two minutes, and the Blades were on the scoreboard first. After a round of cycling in the offensive zone, Sean Kohler broke the ice by firing it past Victor Adamo to make it 1-0. Before the first period would even come to a close, Greg Campbell's point shot would beat Adamo through a screen, giving Oakville the 2-0 lead before the game really even hit it's stride. The start couldn't have been better for Oakville, who desperately needed to take control of the game from the opening face-off if they were to stop the Buzzers.

Both goaltenders were faced with quick, tough action at both ends. The tougher period had to go to Mark Manolescu from the Blades, who was forced to make multiple point blank one timer shots to keep his team's lead in tact. In the first period alone, the former Toronto Lakeshore Patriots puck-stopper was forced to make 16 saves during the opening twenty minutes, out-duelling his Buzzers counterpart by five shots.

The second period got off to a bit of a dangerous start for both teams. Only eight seconds in, Thomas Beretta of St. Mike's cross checked Oakville star Kris Bennett from behind, earning a game misconduct as a result. On the ensuing power-play for Oakville, Bennett set up line-mate Dalton Bew for the team's third goal of the contest. Penalty issues would continue to plague the Buzzers at the twelve minute mark of the second, when two penalties within twenty seconds of each other led to Greg Campbell's power-play snipe from the point, extending Oakville's lead to four goals.

The Blades eventually would eventually get into a bit of penalty trouble themselves. With Mark Bzowey in the box for holding, Buzzers forward David Italiano managed to finally beat Manolescu over the glove with a nice wrist shot marker. Italiano would get his second of the contest with just eight minutes later when he absolutely sniped the puck over the glove of Manolescu from a seemingly tight angle.

It was a strong night for the Oakville goalie regardless, who made 31 saves prior to the first goal. The performance was especially strong considering that he is coming off an 8-2 loss to North York three games ago.

With the momentum mainly in Oakville's zone during the third, the team would finally get a break. After getting hauled down on a fantastic breakout opportunity, Kohler would be given another chance to add a tally to the score-sheet with a penalty shot. The young, gritty winger would capitalize on the play, deking out Adamo before roofing it over the Buzzers goaltender to make it 5-2. St. Mike's would pull their goalie on the following play in hopes of cutting the score just a little closer, but Ross Sloan's empty netter and another late one from Joe Seney would seal the deal for Oakville.

With the victory, the Blades have now forced a one game playoff against the Toronto Jr Canadiens on Sunday. The game will take place at Sixteen Mile Sports Complex at 7:30pm, so we hope to see you there!