You would think Valentines Day had come a day early when the Majors and the Colts hit the ice at the Hershey Centre in Mississauga. For the second consecutive year, the Majors raised awareness for breast cancer painting the ice pink, sporting pink jerseys and having the referees trade their white stripes in for a set of bright pink blouses.
To kick off the game, hockey legend and host of Coaches Corner, Don Cherry joined Mississauga mayor Hazel McCallion at centre ice for the ceremonial face-off.
The game started off at a slow pace but after both teams pushed the physicality back and forth — led by Barrie Colts captain Stefan Della Rovere — the fierce rivalry between the sides began to tell.
The tempo really picked up when Ottawa Senators draft pick Kaspars Daugavins scored the games first goal on the power play with a slap shot from the outside of the faceoff circle to give the Majors the early one to nothing lead. But the celebration was short-lived when less than a minute after Colts forward Darren Archibald scored to tie the game.
With the game tied at one, both teams continued the physical play to maintain position in the conference against one another and closed the first period at 1-1. Five minutes into the second, Alex Hutchings sped by a trailing defender and scored a snap shot to give the Colts a two to one lead.
The Majors then continued the crossfire when Jared Gomes scored off a deflection to tie the game at two apiece. And this was all the momentum the Majors needed as Gomes grabbed a rebound and scored the teams third goal to take the lead shortly after.
After the Majors scored their fourth goal to put the team ahead by two, Majors assistant captain Cameron Gaunce dropped the gloves with a frustrated Daniel Michalsky — Gaunce winning the bout.
We are playing them again before the season is done so I wanted to send a message, said Cameron Gaunce about fight at the end of the game.
The two teams are fighting to maintain position in the Ontario Hockey Leagues (OHL) Eastern conference.
We had to really prove ourselves and todays game was a good starting point, and we treated this game like a playoff, said Gaunce.
The game was a complete success on and off the ice for the Majors as part of the proceeds from the game would be going to breast cancer awareness. Attendance for the game saw an impressive 3,721 fans.
It was pretty cool and it was for a great cause. The boys were pretty excited and the fans were really into it, said Jared Gomes about the pink atmosphere.
With the event a success for the second straight year, this probably wont be the last time we see the ice at the Hershey Centre painted a bright pink.
Its a great idea by the organization. Last year we earned about $15,000 for breast cancer and this year I think we will be able to get more, said Gaunce.