Majors “Paint the Rink Pink” for breast cancer research

The Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors were in action on Friday night as they hosted the Plymouth Whalers—a rare visit for the Whalers. The night was filled with pre-game festivities as it was the fourth annual “Paint the Rink Pink” night for the hosting Majors. All profits from tickets sales were donated to breast cancer research. Further, the jerseys (which are also pink) were signed and auctioned after the game, and proceeds from those sales also went to research.

Plymouth was able to jump out to an early lead as Majors captain Casey Cizikas took a questionable interference call at 2:09 in the first period, which Plymouth quickly capitalized on. The Whalers kept up the pace and forward Austin Levi added to the lead just two minutes later, beating J.P. Anderson on a deflection. Mere seconds later, though, Jordan Mayer was able to beat Scott Wedgewood to cut the Plymouth lead in half.

The focus quickly shifted from the game to the officiating crew as there were many questionable calls against both teams. Tension hit a boiling point which resulted in a brawl that saw only two fighting Majors, although it resulted in seven penalties. It seemed as though the referees were losing control of the game but they were able to restore some order and sent the Majors to the powerplay. Dylan DeMelo scored his third goal of the season to knot the game at two.

The Whalers came out hard in the third period after yet another questionable call left the Majors shorthanded again and Plymouth took the advantage. The 3-2 lead looked like it would hold up the rest of the game until Michael D’Orazio scored with 1:04 remaining to tie it up. All seemed well now, and the game appeared to be destined for overtime. However, a bench minor was taken by the Plymouth bench that sent the Majors to the powerplay. But another goaltender interference call against the Majors set up four-on-four action. Yet again another questionable call against the Majors for roughing sent the Hershey Centre into a madhouse: booing was heard all around the rink and the fans close to the benches were yelling profanity at the refs as well.

The game seemed destined for overtime, but the Majors lost a face-off in their own end and the puck wound up on Tyler Brown’s stick and he made no mistake. He put the Whalers up 4-3 with only two seconds remaining. A true “busch” league play followed the goal as Brown skated by the Majors’ bench high-fiving the opposing bench, which enraged the Majors’ bench and coach Dave Cameron. In a post-game interview, Chris Desousa expressed his opinion on the Brown incident: “He’s lucky we don’t play them again. That just shows the type of person he is and we won’t forget that. I wish we did play them again.”

The refs lost total control of the game and decided the fate with their lack of consistency. The fans expressed what they thought of it as they littered the ice with water bottles and garbage when the refs dropped the puck for the final :02 seconds.

Although Mississauga lost, the overall game was a success because of the cause it supported. The fans were awarded the first star of the game to wrap up the evening.

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