In one of the most thrilling PJHL games of the season, the Bruins took down the defending Clarence Schmalz Cup provincial champion Lakefield Chiefs in overtime at the Bear Den, extending Uxbridge’s season-opening home ice win streak to 9 games.
Tensions were running high through a scoreless first period that saw several spectacular saves at both ends of the ice.
The Chiefs took the lead early in the second period before timely goals by Toby Cooper and Justin Bennett put Uxbridge ahead 2-1. However, the lead would not last, and at the end of the middle frame, the Bruins were trailing 3-2.
An unassisted goal by Daniel Wu early in the third period knotted the game once more before the Chiefs took back the lead with slightly more than 10 minutes to play in regulation.
The Bruins continued to try and claw their way back, using their superior size to create space in the offensive zone.
A pair of late penalties put the Bruins’ resilience to the test, but a pair of veterans proved to be more than up to the task as captain Aiden Reilly found Robert Freckelton for a dramatic shorthanded goal that trickled over the goal line with just over one minute remaining on the clock to force overtime.
There was a blistering pace to the 4-on-4 overtime period – that began 4-on-3 with a spectacular effort from the Uxbridge penalty killing unit – and 1:34 into the extra frame, Justin Bennett capitalized on a Lakefield turnover, finding Jackson Savery charging to the net for the game winning goal as the boisterous Uxbridge crowd erupted in cheers.
The Bruins will be back in action next Friday night at the Bear Den, with another tough test, as the Tod Division-leading Napanee Raiders visit for a 7:45 p.m. match-up.
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