Playing for their big boy, the Blenheim Blades beat one of the league’s big boys on Tuesday night.
Owen Lemieux stopped all 28 shots and three different players scored as the Blades knocked off the Essex 73’s 3-0 on Tuesday night in Essex.
Will McCracken scored his first goal in his second game back with the Blades 2:10 into the second period, a lead they protected until Ryan Sanders scored with 5:06 left in the third.
Brad McAlpine iced the win with an empty-netter with 32 seconds to play.
The shutout was the third of the season for Lemieux and second straight for the Blades as Jake Vancoillie blanked the Dresden Kings 3-0 last Friday. It was Vancoillie’s third shutout of the season over the Kings as five of his seven career shutouts have come against Dresden.
Tuesday’s game was the Blades’ first of four straight without their team captain and division MVP contender Craig Spence, who received an automatic four-game for a spearing match penalty in Friday’s win in Dresden.
Blades’ head coach Shawn Simpson said the Blades had to step up in Spence’s absence, the same way the captain has stepped up to lead the team through the injury-plagued last five weeks.
Tuesday’s win was the Blades’ first against either of the PJHL Stobbs Division’s top two teams this season as they had three losses and a tie in their first four games against Essex and are 0-5 against the first-place Lakeshore Canadiens.
The win was Blenheim’s 20th of the season as they moved within four points of second-place Essex and three points ahead of the fourth-place Wheatley Sharks – both of whom have three games in hand over Blenheim.
The Blades visit the Amherstburg Admirals on Saturday and host the Mooretown Flags on Sunday, 7 p.m.
Blades goalie Owen Lemieux (Heather Smith file photo)
Article courtsey of the Blenheim News.