McGregor fires overtime winner in Game 2
By Pat Payton
The Golf and Country Club ‘BB’ Atoms split the first two games of their best-of-five SHL series with Petrolia Oilers.
In the series opener Saturday, Feb. 15 in Petrolia, the Rock dropped a 3-1 decision.
“We got off to a slow start and they scored a couple early ones and we couldn’t dig ourselves out of that hole,” coach Dan Murrell reported. “After the first period, we controlled the majority of the game. After going down 3-0 after two, we scored early in the third and continued to apply pressure, but could not beat the Petrolia goaltender.”
Graeme Froud scored the St. Marys goal from Harper Murrell and Charlie Bender. Nolan Stewart and Parker Levy split the game in net.
“The message to the kids was if we continue to play the way we did in the second and third periods, we will have success,” Murrell said. “The Petrolia goalie played an outstanding game but there were so many shots where we didn’t have enough traffic and he is going to stop the majority of those shots.
The coaching staff identified a couple of areas to focus on the next two practices before game two -- having more traffic to the front of the net (need to get in front of the goalie’s eyes) and chipping the pucks to open areas in the other team’s end when there is no play and support the puck on those chips.”
Complete-game win at PRC
In Game 2 Wednesday at the PRC, coach Murrell described it as the Atoms “most complete effort of the season.” The Rock tied the series 1-1 with a dramatic 2-1 overtime victory.
“The message before the game was to play desperate hockey . . . and we certainly did,” Murrell said. “We came out flying and scored early; we have rarely done that this year and it was such a boost for the team.
“Even though they scored late in the first, we didn’t let off the gas pedal the whole game. We won the battle at the blue lines, controlled the play and puck in their end, our passing had never been better and we out-chanced them by a very wide margin. After reviewing the game, we had multiple grade ‘A’ chances while they only had one.”
The winning goal came just 27 seconds into overtime on a nice pass from Cody King to Donovan McGregor, who patiently waited for the goalie to go down and then lifted the puck into the top of the net.
“The goalie almost stole a win for them,” Murrell noted. “That’s two games in a row where he was just phenomenal. But we kept the pressure up and were rewarded with the win. Even though it was close on the scoreboard, the right team won tonight.”
Ben Ewing scored the first St. Marys goal from Harper Murrell and Charlotte Richardson. Nolan Stewart went the distance in net.