By Craig Campbell, Dundas Star News
A lack of discipline may have cost the Dundas Blues a chance to clinch a first round playoff sweep at home over the Chippawa Riverhawks, Sunday.
But Blues head coach Mike Christian won’t alter his team’s style of play heading into Game five in Niagara Falls, Monday night.
“I’ve got a lot of confidence in these guys,” Christian said, sitting in his office minutes after the Blues dropped game four by a score of 5-2. The Blues now lead the Niagara District Junior C East Division playoff series three games to one.
“This is a skilled team. We won’t change anything. We’re going to go right after them again.”
Christian said it will take a level of maturity for Dundas to close out the series against the older Chippawa team.
Sunday evening, the Blues had moments where they forced extended flurries of pressure on the Chippawa goaltender.
“Two or three breaks go our way in the first period and it’s a different game,” Christian said.
But Chippawa scored three power play goals in 13 chances, while Dundas didn’t find the net in just four power play chances – and Dundas found themselves down two men on a few occasions.
“That many five on three’s isn’t playoff hockey in my opinion,” Christian said. “Our discipline wasn’t there.”
Dundas spent a lot of time killing penalties – whether one man or two-man advantages. The Blues had 47 minutes on 15 infractions. Chippawa, in comparison, kept their cool – with 20 minutes on six infractions.
A power play goal gave Chippawa a 1-0 lead about halfway into the opening period. Dundas tied it up with a point shot from Brayden Knott, assisted by Dan Pelosini and Kevin Jaczenko with two minutes left in the opening frame.
Chippawa scored three unanswered goals in the second period – including one on the power play, despite plenty of good play by Dundas around Chippawa’s net.
Jaczenko scored Dundas’ second goal – his second point of the night and team-leading fifth point of the series – less than a minute into the third period. Mitch Reid and Knott assisted on the goal. That cut Chippawa’s lead to 4-2.
Despite continuing bursts of pressure around Chippawa’s net – and even a puck off the post – Dundas wasn’t able to score again.
Chippawa put the game away with a power play goal with just over a minute left to play.
Dundas goalie Mark Sinclair stopped 40 of 45 shots, while Chippawa goalie Colin Dunne stopped 35 of Dundas’ 37 shots.
Chippawa’s first win of the series forces game five in Niagara Falls, Monday night at 7 p.m.
If necessary, the teams will return to Dundas for game six on Tuesday, February 12 at 7:30 p.m.– which would be their third game in three nights if Dundas doesn’t clinch tomorrow.