Saturday night’s Game Two of the WOC Championship brought in a large crowd in London. The game against Leamington started with a fast pace from the puck drop. With only a few whistles in the first period, the teams were really able to play. Both teams had a few scoring chances early but neither team was able to find the back of the net. This changed when the Nationals George Diaco made a great pass across the ice deep in the Flyers zone for a low one time shot by Max Vinogradov at 11:53. Only one penalty was given in the first period to the Flyers however, London was not able to capitalize on the opportunity, sending them into the second period up 1-0.
London’s progression fell a little short in the second period. The Nationals received their first penalty of the game at 5:35 although this did not stop them from applying pressure. A great penalty kill by London barley allowed the Flyers to set up once on the man advantage. The referees let the players continue to play into the second period with a minimal number of whistles. Lots of back and forth action until Leamington’s Rory DiNiro scored their tying goal tight in London’s net at 13:50. Three minutes later, Leamington’s Zach Taylor scored the go-ahead goal sending London down 2-1 into the third.
Both teams came out fast in the third period, however, a slashing penalty by Nationals Josh Wright put them in the box just 20 seconds into the period. A strong penalty kill prevented Leamington from capitalizing on the man advantage and London continued to put on the pressure trying to get back their lead. Nationals’ Max Vinogradov tied up the game with a goal tight in net at 3:23. Leamington’s penalty eight minutes into the period allowed Riley MacRae, who is back from injury after missing the first two playoff rounds, to score his first goal of the playoffs at 9:48. Just a minute later, MacRae scored again; a beautiful top left corner goal making the score 4-2. Another Leamington penalty allowed the Nationals George Diaco to score on the power play making it 5-2 at 15:20 and seal the win. The Nationals now have a 2-0 lead in the series.
The Nationals head to Leamington tonight for game three of the series taking place at the Leamington Kinsmen Recreation Complex at 7:10 PM.