The Markham Royals finished off their first round series with the Whitby Fury on Friday night with a 7-6, come-from-behind Overtime victory in Game 5 to win the series 4 games to 1.
With a chance to clinch the series on home ice, the Royals fought hard to battle back from a 5-2 third period deficit to stun the Fury, before sealing the deal and ending Whitby’s season in overtime.
Things didn’t get off to the best of starts for Markham, with Whitby’s Steven Elliott scoring twice in the first 4 minutes of the hockey game to give the Fury an early 2-0 lead. Just a minute later though, while on the power play Markham’s Rylee St. Onge scored his 3rd of the playoffs, and brought the Royals back within one. The teams would go back and forth at this point, resulting in a 2-1 Whitby lead after the opening frame, with the Fury outshooting the Royals by a 10-7 count.
Markham would come out swinging in the second period, with Marco Azzano tying the game at 2s just over 5 minutes in, but momentum would swing in favor of the Fury, who scored three unanswered goals in a span of 6 minutes to take a 5-2 lead heading into the third period. The Fury looked like a team that was fighting for their season, they did not want to go home.
At least that’s how it looked to end the second, because within a blink of an eye in the third, the Royals came marching back with authority. Sean Perichak scored twice just 53 seconds apart, followed by Aaron Spivak tying the game just 1:15 after that, and finally Tyson Bruce put the Royals ahead by one with a clean deflection off his skate past Fury starter Daniel Mannella. In the lineup due to a couple of injuries, Ty Dellandrea (who already had 3 assists to this point) would tie the game for Whitby, eventually sending Game 5 to overtime.
And what an overtime it was, back and forth the teams traded chances, both goaltenders came up with some big game-saving saves, but the Royals had the better opportunities, and finally off a face-off win, Tyson Bruce took the shot, Sean Perichak tapped a rebound, before Marco Azzano tucked the puck home for the game and series winning goal. It was his 5th point of the night, finishing with 2 goals and 3 assists. Behind him were his line mates in Perichak with 2 goals and 1 assist and Bruce with 1 goal and 3 assists.
After losing Game 1 of the series, the Royals turned on the jets, using their speed to win 4 straight games and take the series right out of the hands of the Fury. If the Royals continue to play like they did in Games 2-5, then their next round opponent might want to be ready for a physical, grueling, and fast series.
Markham will now have a couple days of rest while the remaining OJHL playoff series finish, and will be facing the Kingston Voyageurs in the 2nd Round of the OJHL Playoffs. Stay tuned to the Markham Royals website for the Round 2 schedule.