BUFFALO, NY- The Brantford 99ers travelled to the OJHL Governors’ Showcase this afternoon for their first of 2 contests, battling the Toronto Patriots. Aiden Berry got the start between the pipes for the 99ers, and recently acquired Braeden Shaikh started for the Patriots.
In a relatively quiet first 20 minutes, both teams got to sample their powerplays. First, Toronto had a 2 minute advantage after J.D Shoniker was sent off for cross-checking halfway through the period, but couldn’t capitalize on the opportunity. A short 5 minutes later, Patriots Thomas Dimoulas got called for holding, however the 99ers struggled to get set up in the offensive zone and the game remained scoreless after 1. Shots were 7-5 in favour of Brantford.
33 seconds into the middle frame, Max Dirracolo caught 99ers winger Connor Koropatnicki up high with a hard hit, shaking him up and earning a boarding penalty in the process. While resetting on the powerplay, Jonah Cochrane received a pass from Hudson Gill and carried the puck across the blue line before backhanding a pass left side to a wide open Evin Kojokaro who wristed the puck past the blocker of Shaikh for his 4th goal of the season, opening the scoring for the 99ers. Despite being the only goal in the period, the shots ended 17-15 for the Patriots.
The Patriots needing a tying goal in the final 20, a level of intensity from both sides reached sky high. Brantford’s Koropatnicki earned the only penalty in the period, but Aiden Berry made a spectacular cross crease save plus others to keep his team in the lead. The final 90 seconds, the Patriots pulled their goalie for an extra attacker, but the 99ers successfully managed to keep the puck in the neutral zone for the majority of the remaining time, sealing the 1-0 victory for Brantford, and earning Aiden Berry his first career OJHL shutout. Shots after 60 minutes of play were deadlocked 35-35.
The Brantford 99ers are back in action tomorrow evening for their 2nd and final game of the Governors’ Showcase, battling the Lindsay Muskies. The puck drops at 5:30pm ET. Catch all the action on http://flohockey.tv