Blast look to stay focused in playoffs
Photo by Sean Allen, Brant News
Orillia Tundras goaltender Dan Earles makes a stop on Brantford Blast forward Mike Ruberto during a breakaway in the third period of an Allan Cup Hockey league playoff game at the Brantford and District Civic Centre on Tuesday night.
The Brantford Blast need to stay focused on their game plan to continue their march toward the Allan
Cup Hockey championship series.
Forward Joel Prpic said the Blast have been guilty of losing focus at times during their first three games of a best-of-seven semifinal series against the Orillia Tundras.
The Blast lead the series 2-1.
“We have to worry about scoring goals and preventing goals instead of all the extracurricular stuff,” Prpic said. “We lost that focus toward the end of the second period (Tuesday night) when we got that big lead.”
The Blast had a 5-1 lead at one point during Game 3 at the Brantford and District Civic Centre, but it dwindled to 5-3 by the end of the game after the team got into some penalty trouble.
The Blast went 0-for-2 on the power play during the game, while the Tundras scored one power-play goal on seven chances.
“We don’t have to take chances to create chances,” Prpic said. “We need to remain cognizant of that and stick to our game plan.”
The Blast were surprised in Game 1 of the series on Friday night when the Tundras won 5-4 in Brantford – surprised because the Blast defeated the Tundras 14-2 just five days earlier in the final game of the regular season.
“I thought we really dominated them (in Game 1),” Prpic said. “Their goalie stood on his head in that first game. He’s been the real difference in the series. He’s been phenomenal. We are finding a way to beat him, but the scores would be more lopsided if he wasn’t playing the way he is.”
Tundras goaltender Dan Earles has faced an average of 45 shots per game so far in the series with Brantford.
The Blast turned the tide in Game 2 in Orillia on Saturday, never trailing in a 5-3 victory.
The series shifts back to Orillia for Game 4 on Thursday and is back in Brantford on Friday at 7:30 p.m. for Game 5.
If necessary, the final two games of the series will be played in Orillia on Sunday and Brantford on Tuesday.