It was a back-and-forth battle between Scarborough’s Mustangs and Ottawa’s Hillcrest Hawks, and was the first of their two games at the MasterCard Centre in Etobicoke Tuesday morning.
The third-ranked Mustangs trailed by one with under three minutes left in the second period until Jackson Howe tied the game on a rebound with an assist from Jonathan Hudgin.
The Hawks had gained the lead at 14:13 in the second when Hawks captain Benjamin Robillard beat sprawling Mustang goaltender Eric Wright with help from Jeffrey Clarke.
The 18th-ranked Hawks had opened the scoring late in the first with a solid pass in front of the net, scoring with a rooftop goal.
The Mustangs were eager not to let the first go by without retaliating. Korey Brand saw an opportunity to tie up the game with a scramble in front of the net with two minutes left in the first.
Brand maintained the rebound and put it in the corner past the Hawk’s goaltender to end the first period with a 1–1 tie.
With 23 seconds left in the third period, a timeout was called. At this point, Robin Kerr, coach of the Hawks told his team to rest.
“We told them we were the better team, and [to] go for the gold,” he said.
The final buzzer broke the silence in the arena ending the game in a 2-2 draw.
Coach John Lyttle of the Mustangs said the game was not their best effort, and the team looked disjointed on the ice.
Mustang defenceman Alex Campbell was also unimpressed with his team’s performance.
“I felt that our team could have just stepped it up a little bit towards the end,” he said.
“Especially [against] a team ranked so low like that. They were ranked 18th and we were … third, so for us to tie that team isn’t very good. That’s a wakeup call for us.”
Campbell said he understands those in the race for the AAA/AAAA boy’s hockey championship are the top teams in the province.
“[The] teams are good here, every team is. So we are going to have to step it up and play good next game.”