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Sumarah outstanding for Sackville but Blazers fall in OT to Red Wings

     
Atlantic Championship Final at 2:00 p.m. in Kensington Sunday. Some folks call a 0-0 game through sixty minutes boring hockey but if you happen to be in the Kensington Arena on Prince Edward Island tonight for the second semi-final game of the 2019 Don Johnson Memorial Cup Atlantic Junior Hockey Championship, the goaltending by the Sackville Blazers Justin Sumarah was better than sensational, brilliant, stupendous, almost any adjective you might think of.  His Blazers were outshot 16-13, 18-7, 8-2 and then 17-6 in the first overtime before Alex Morrissey of the Island Arsenault Fish Market Red Wings took a great pass from Austin Taylor and beat Sumarah to his left on the short side with 6:37 left in the first twenty minute overtime to give the Wings a 1-0 win over the Blazers and a berth in Sunday afternoon’s Atlantic Championship Final against the host Kensington Moase Plumbing and Heating Vipers at 2:00 p.m.  For the game the Wings outshot the Blazers 59-28 but before a sold-out Credit Union Centre, Sumarah kept fans breathless with his phenomenal saves, sometimes making 4 and 5 at a time.  The 58 saves he did make would literally be impossible to describe everyone but to begin the game he made a number of key saves as the Blazers started tentatively and not doing much with the puck in the opening seven minutes as the Red Wings who began to tire in the later stages as did the Blazers were all over the Sackville net but Sumarah would not give an inch.  A key contingent of Sackville fans made the drive over to Kensington for Saturday’s game and you could hear every breath and sigh as Sumarah put on his goaltending clinic which reminded those who can remember the 1970-71 Stanley Cup Quarter Finals when Montreal’s Ken Dryden came out of no where to help the Habs upset the potent Boston Bruins in 7 games.  Silas Handraghan of the Red Wings was stopped on a break-away in the first period.  Sackville did not have anywhere’s close the scoring chances that the Red Wings had but with 1:20 to go in the opening period, the Blazers were all over Luke Oliver while they were on the power-play but they could not buy a goal.   The Blazers began the second period on the power-play for 1:37 left but came up with nothing.  With four minutes left in the second, Sumarah put on a goaltending school as the Red Wings fired everything they could at him and more but he never cracked once.  The Wings seemed to be getting frustrated as the third period began with the Blazers persistent forechecking.  Both teams did excellent in keeping each other bottled up in the third.  Brian Grandy of the Blazers had an excellent scoring chance but was denied by Oliver’s glove.  Chase Gallant of the Red Wings picked up a loose puck at centre ice and drove for the Sackville net but he let his shot go only to see it sail over the net.  The Blazers did an excellent job of penalty-killing as Nick Scott took a cross-checking penalty with only 2:08 gone in the first twenty-minute overtime.  At one point in the overtime, Sumarah made two outstanding pad saves and then another off his chest protector and this came seconds before Nick Cullen went in alone for the Blazers and was stymied.  Prior to Morrissey’s goal, he was stoned by Sumarah who kept his absolutely brilliant goaltending show on the road.  Oliver in the Wings net prior to Morrisey’s goal was called upon to make two key saves off the sticks of Nick McFarlane and Regan MacDonald.  It is difficult to say when any hockey fan will see a performance like Sumarah’s again but one thing is certain, the Island Red Wings and Kensington Vipers will meet for the Don Johnson Memorial Cup Sunday afternoon at 2:00 p.m. in Kensington.
[2020-03-08 10:55:52]