Moccia’s natural hat trick propels Blades to OT victory
Things did not look good for the Blenheim Blades as the clocked ticked down in the third period of their Provincial Junior Hockey League Stobbs Division game against the Wheatley Sharks Sunday night at the Blenheim Memorial Arena.
Trailing 2-0 with less than eight minutes to play it was time for someone to step up, and that someone was third-year forward Christian Moccia.
And step up he did in a big way.
Moccia got his team on the board at 12:29 of the final 20 minutes with his fifth goal of the season with assists going to Derek Hueni and Sam McKinlay.
At 12:56 referee Kyle Flood sent Wheatley’s Tallas Smith to the penalty box for interference, and just 13 seconds before the Sharks would have been back at full strength Moccia scored again with assists going to Nick Tetreault and Kyle Hachey.
From that point on neither team was able to score which brought about the three-on-three, seven-minute, sudden-death overtime.
The Sharks had some great chances, but a huge save by Blades netminder Caleb Pinsonneault on a two-man clear-cut breakaway gave the Blades a chance to go the other way with Seth Henderson setting up Moccia for his natural hat trick, and the game winner, with three minutes and 59 seconds to play.
Jaxon Boucher also assisted on the game winner.
The Sharks had taken their two-goal lead when Lucas Poisson and Alixe Saliba netted second period markers. Poisson’s came on a powerplay.
The win, the 10th of the season for the Blades (10-17-2-2), gives the club 24 points and a share of sixth place with the Dresden Kings. Both teams are a point up on the Petrolia Flyers and three behind the fifth-place Sharks.
Next action will be in the annual outdoor game Friday night at Lanspeary Park in Windsor against the first-place Lakeshore Canadiens. The Blades will be back home Sunday to host the second-place Mooretown Flags at 7 p.m.
BLADES BITS: Pinsonneault was outstanding in net stopping 40 of 42 Wheatley shots…The Blades had 28 shots at Sharks netminder Kyle Metson…Pinsonneault’s netminding partner Chris DeWulf missed his second game in a row due to illness…AP Kaleb Moore backed up Pinsonneault…Darby Lemieux, who the Blades picked up from the Leamington Flyers a month ago, will likely play his first game for Blenheim Friday in Windsor…Lemieux was one of the Chatham Maroons two 16-year olds last year before moving to the Flyers before the start of the season…He broke a collarbone during this first game with the Flyers…Attendance was 317…Sunday’s ice time sponsor was Victory Ford of Chatham…The three stars were Moccia, Pinsonneault and Henderson.