All season long the Blenheim Blades have had two major problems – scoring goals and taking penalties at inopportune times.
Those two things came into play again Sunday night when the Blades 2019-20 campaign came to an end at the hands of the first-place finishing Lakeshore Canadiens.
Down 3-0 in games to the Canadiens in their best-of-seven Provincial Junior Hockey League quarter-final playoff series, the Blades went into the third period up 2-0 before 395 fans at the Blenheim Memorial Arena.
Veteran forward Christian Moccia had scored both Blades goals in the middle 20 minutes, as he and his teammates outshot the Canadiens 25-20 over the first 40 minutes.
The tallies were the second and third in the series for Moccia, with Seth Henderson and Noah Tetrault assisting on the first at 1:40 of the period, and netminder Chris DeWulf the second at 16-23.
However there was still 20 minutes to play and things fell apart in a span of just one minute and 11 seconds starting at 6:52 when Hunter Bailey scored an even strength goal.
Four seconds after Bailey’s goal Blenheim forward Tate Bowden took a tripping penalty and Trevor Larue tied things at 2-2 at 7:52.
At the same time Larue scored Blades Connor Wright was assessed an unsportsmanlike minor, and just 19 seconds later Tycen Chittle scored the eventual winner.
Blake Bain then added empty net goal with 42 seconds to play to put the Blades’ season on ice.
In the third period Lakeshore outshot Blenheim 20-3, while the Blades took all five minor penalties called by referee Kyle Dowdell.
BLADES BITS: The game was the last in the Junior careers for DeWulf and defenceman Derek Hueni as they were both playing in their overage season…Not dressed for Blenheim were Sam McKinlay, Will McCracken and Carter Wright, while former Blade Kier Cumming did not suit up for Lakeshore…Forward Darby Lemieux was ejected early in the second period when he and Lakeshore’s Eric Larue were given fighting majors and game misconducts penalties…Lakeshore took 32 of 40 penalty minutes called…In two others series that had games Sunday night the Essex ’73s defeated the Wheatley Sharks 4-1 to even their set at 2-2, and the Petrolia Flyers edged the Amherstburg Admirals 2-1…Their series stands at 2-1 for the Admirals…The Blades would like to send out deepest sympathy to Blenheim arena manager Chris Kirkwood and his family…Chris’s dad passed away Friday…The ice time sponsor was The Bottled Grape of Blenheim.