Playing in their second home game in as many nights the home town Bluefins showed why Cape Codders are in need of a pro hockey team and why, if you haven’t come to see them, you need to!
The first period began and seemingly before the Zamboni driver could shut the gate, the Warriors were on the board. Ahmed Mahfouz - just 15 seconds in - scored on Bluefin goalie Mike Ronan after a mis-step by the Bluefins defense allowed him to walk in clean and put his team up 1-0.
Assists went to former NHL player Pierre Dagenais and Martin Beaulne. It was Dagenais’ 25th assist and league leading 57th point on the season. However, at the 3:07 mark the Bluefins’ Kevin McReady took a nice feed from Garrett Peters and fired it past Akwesasne goalie, David Plouffe to even the score at 1.
Approximately 3 minutes later, the Bluefins former NHLer, Billy Tibbetts put the Bluefins up by 1 when he one-timed an Andrew Hutton pass that Plouffe had no chance to save. After killing a penalty and withstanding some heavy Warrior pressure, the Bluefins allowed another questionable goal. This time off the stick of Miguel Delisle who took a weak wrist shot that somehow snuck under the arm of Ronan. After killing off another penalty, the two teams went to the locker room tied at 2. Shots in the first period were 20-13 with the Cape Cod boys holding the advantage.
The second period began with Bluefins defenseman Luke Frey serving the rest of his minor penalty for slashing which he received with just 10 seconds to go in the first. But the Boys in blue killed it off for the fifth time in the contest, keeping the visiting team frustrated and unable to get the go ahead goal. At 10:02 Frey made up for his senseless penalty when he took an AJ Tesoreiro pass, streaked down the left side and ripped a low, short side wrist shot off the post and into the net past Plouffe.
The 2nd period featured some great hockey as well as a few skirmishes highlighted by a near brawl during which Warriors blue liner Kris McCarthy instigated a fight with Fins tough guy, Corey Bellamy. After a whistle had blown, McCarthy went after Bellamy as he turned towards his team’s bench and the two squared off in an obvious attempt to fight.
Just then Akwesasne’s Mahfouz, out of nowhere attacked Bellamy in a clear “3rd man in” situation which is usually an automatic ejection. However, there was no call by referee Andy O’Brien. Furthermore, McCarthy was not given so much as a warning. The irate Bluefin crowd let him know their feelings as both Bellamy and Mahfouz were given roughing penalties. Total shots after the 2nd period were 35-22 again in favor of the home team.
The 3rd period began and maintained a ferocious pace throughout. At 5:19 Bluefin captain, Kevin McCready lit the lamp for the second time in the contest and 16th on the season, giving his team a 4-2 lead. Almost 5 minutes later, Miguel Delisle brought his team within one as he beat Ronan with a wrist shot to the top left corner. Then at 17:45 Hutton scored a power play goal to put the Bluefins ahead for good. It was the only power play goal of the contest and Hutton’s 7th of the season. Assists went to Tibbetts and Brad Surdam.
Bluefins player-coach, Tibbetts credited his team with a great effort and especially rookie defenseman, Steve Brown who he said “has the heart of a lion”.
The Bluefins next home game is on Wednesday January 11th at the Hyannis Youth & Community Center vs the Brooklyn Aviators at 7pm. All youth hockey players receive free admission if they wear there game jerseys.
Contributed by Tim Lus.