Redmen Hang on for 11-10 OT Win
by Mark Stehlin
(Whitby) - The Brooklin Redmen kicked off the 2017 MSL season with a gutsy OT win at home over the Brampton Excelsiors. With an extended NLL season this year, essentially half of the Redmen roster from 2016 continues to toil with either the Georgia Swarm or Saskatchewan Rush in that league's championship series, game one of the best of three series is set for Sunday June 4, 2017. This provides a great opportunity for the young guns and even some veteran players in the system to get some playing time and show the coaches what they bring to the floor.
With three goals from Dan Lintner, some good goaltending when needed from Zach Higgins and a number of junior call-ups, the Redmen took the win tonight over the Brampton Excelsiors by a final of 11-10 after a full 10 minute overtime period.
Buoyed by a quick goal within the first 40 seconds of each of the three periods and run and gun play from the juniors, the home side looked solid in the win.
The opening frame ended with a 5-3 lead for the Redmen and featured a quick opening goal just 0:38 into the contest, with Mitch Wilde on an impressive run down the floor. Lintner scored his first two of three on the night in the first twenty minutes.
At the end of the second period with the score 8-6 for the Redmen, Phil Caputo rushed the ball down the floor and with seven seconds on the clock and an empty Excelsior net, scooped up his own rebound and forced Higgins to make an incredible save to send the teams into the break with that two-goal edge for the Redmen. By the midpoint of the second the visitors stormed back with three unanswered including two in 21 seconds to knot the game at 6-6, two late goals by Josh Johnson and a speedy Ryan MacSpadyen gave the Redmen the two-goal cushion.
The Redmen opened the gap to 10-6 with just 3:35 off the clock in the final period of regulation only to watch their visitors score four unanswered to knot the score at 10-10 with 20 seconds on the clock. Brad MacArthur used the two-minute stoppage between the third and the OT to shore up the defense and it worked as Kyle Whitlow scored the only goal in the extra frame to give the Redmen the 11-10 home opener win. Other scorers for the Redmen were Mitch Wilde, Zach Sloan, Derek Hopcroft, Reilly O'Connor, Josh Johnson, Ryan MacSpadyen and Sean Darroch.
The team now has two on the road with stops in Peterborough on June 1, Cobourg on June 4 and back home to host the Kodiaks on June 7.