The Chatham Maroons continued their “March To 20” with their fifth consecutive playoff win, a 4-1 decision over the London Nationals on Thursday night.
More than 1,200 local hockey fans packed Chatham’s Memorial Arena for the second round series opener.
Bryce Yetman opened the scoring for the hometown faithful, with assists from Michael Douglas and Dakota Bohn at the 14:03 mark of the first period.
The Nationals fired back to even the odds with a powerplay goal from Adam Sinclair 5:34 into the second.
Not more than three minutes later, the Maroons turned up the offence with Kevin Gursoy’s team-leading sixth goal of the post-season, the eventual game-winner.
The Maroons added two more before the end of the third courtesy of a power-play-goal from Brandon D’Agostino, set up by earlier goal scorers Gursoy and Yetman. Bobby Harrison sealed the deal with an empty netter with just one second remaining on the clock.
Maroons goaltender Brendan Johnston, of Port Lambton, was once again named the game’s first star with another stellar evening between the pipes. Johnston stopped 31 of 32 shots. Johnston leads the entire GOJHL through the post season with a remarkable 1.20 goals-against-average and a .966 save percentage.
Despite the 4-1 final in favour of the Maroons, London outshot Chatham 32-29. Both teams went one for seven on the powerplay.
The Maroons take a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven series into London for Game 2 on Saturday. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:30. Chatham returns home Sunday at 7PM for Game 3.