The game brought back memories of some of the old-time playoff battles these two teams had in the 1990s.
Casey Doner of the Renfrew Timberwolves, right, looks for a tip-in or screen on Perth Blue Wings goalkeeper Jeremy Wright. Doner didn't score on this play, but he did have three goals in Renfrew's 7-4 Game 2 victory.
Peter Clark, Renfrew Mercury
The Renfrew Timberwolves and Perth Blue Wings didn’t like each other then, and they don’t like each other now.
Wolves 7, Blue Wings 4
But when the game that produced 231 penalty minutes and 11 goals ended at the Ma-Te-Way Activity Centre Sunday night, it was the Wolves who owned a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven Eastern Ontario Junior Hockey League Valley Division championship series.
A wild second period of a 7-4 Renfrew victory featured six goals – three by each team – and seven player ejections, including five as a result of a brawl 3:04 into the period.
On the main side of the ledger, Casey Doner had three goals to pace the Wolves attack, capped by an open-net tally with 1:27 remaining.
Kurtis Leclaire, Colin Bradbury, Dallas Farr and Drew Anderson added singles.
Jesse Riopelle checked in with three assists. Anderson and defenceman Erik Mask added a pair of helpers.
Riley Kane, Shawn McGillivray, Tanner Knight and Jimmy Pearson answered in the goalscoring department for Perth.
The Wolves led 2-0 after 20 minutes on goals from Doner a minute in, and a Leclaire powerplay marker.
A couple of minutes after Kane narrowed the gap to 2-1 early in the second period, all hell broke loose.
When the melee ended, the Wolves were minus the services of Tanner Smith and Nolan Rook, while the Blue Wings lost Austin Lamont, Chris Rutley and Christian Bueti.
Renfrew’s Ryan Eady and Perth’s Ben Wade joined their compatriots after their own scrap about 10 minutes later, while Wolves defenceman Dylan Zavitske got the boot on a puzzling fighting call late in the final period. It was later changed to kneeing.
Although the Wolves enjoyed the benefit of two extra major penalties assessed to the Blue Wings at the time of the brawl, their powerplay was unable to take advantage.
However, shortly thereafter, both Bradbury and Farr walked in and beat netminder Jeremy Wright with roof shots to make it 4-1.
Perth got its own extended two-man advantage late in the period, and cashed in on goals from McGillivray and Knight 24 ticks apart.
But perhaps the game’s biggest goal came with just eight seconds left in the period.
The Blue Wings were still on the powerplay when Anderson, Riopelle and Mask broke up ice with Anderson sinking a shorthanded putt to restore a two-goal Renfrew lead before the second intermission.
Doner upped the ante to 6-3 Renfrew midway through the final period.
Pearson came back with Perth’s third powerplay goal of the night with 3:53 remaining, but that was as close as the Blue Wings would get.
Wolves goaltender Matt Gagne faced 34 shots. Wright challenged 45.
Game 3 of the series is Wednesday in Perth at 7:45 p.m.
Game 4 is Friday in Renfrew at 8 p.m.
Around the loop
The Ottawa Junior Canadians and Clarence Creek Beavers open their Metro Division final Tuesday at the Brian Kilrea Arena.
The defending EOJHL champion Casselman Vikings topped a stubborn Akwesasne Wolves squad – but only 1-0 – in the first game of the St. Lawrence Division final.
The Athens Aeros turned back the Gananoque Islanders 4-1 to open the Rideau final.