Powerplay Goals Hault Chatham Maroons' Comeback
Early powerplay goals dug the Chatham Maroons a hole they could not escape against the Strathroy Rockets. After winning game two in Chatham Sunday night, the Maroons seemed to have gained momentum in the opening round best of seven series; however, the Strathroy Rockets showed why they were the league’s top team during the regular season as they held off a Chatham comeback for a 5-4 win in game three.
Alex Avery and Craig Campbell scored for the Rockets on the powerplay in the first period, while Jordan McNaughten scored at even strength. In the second period, Strathroy continued to dominate with the man advantage as Tyler Bryden and Campbell added to the Rockets’ lead on the powerplay.
Following the 5th Strathroy goal, Chatham coach Brad Meredith pulled goaltender Connor MacKinnon who was replaced by Hunter Johnson. During the regular season, Johnson played in only 65 minutes of action, including a shootout loss as he backstopped the Chatham-Kent Cyclones Major Midget AAA team for the majority of the season.
The Chatham Maroons seemed to respond to the goaltender change as Mike Rivard got his team on the board, also on the powerplay, assisted by Sean Myers with less than 2-minutes to go in the frame.
In the third period, a different Chatham Maroons team hit the ice. The team stormed out of the gate with Jesse Allen scoring again on the powerplay only 1:46 into the period. Less than 4-minutes later, the Maroons scored again off the stick of Devon Roeszler from Blake Blondeel. Midway through the period, Roeszler tallied again from Allen and Troy Cox.
With the Strathroy lead narrowed to 5-4, Chatham continued to apply pressure, but was unable to even the score as time ticked down. Young Hunter Johnson played well in net for the Maroons after replacing MacKinnon; however it was the more than 40-minutes in penalties against, which resulted in four powerplay goals, that sank the Maroons.
Game 4 takes place Thursday night in Chatham at Memorial Arena. Puck drop is 7:00pm.