Downed Red Wings, Streak Extened to Nine
(Bradford, ON, October 22, 2011)
By: Sean Werth

On Friday, October 21st, the Bradford Rattlers traveled to Shelburne for the teams’ first meeting of the season. Bradford skated to an easy win, with a final score of 12-3. Furthermore, the Rattlers remain undefeated, going 9-0-0 on the season.  Russian forwards Stanislav Nikonov and Sergey Romanov led the way capturing 1st and 2nd stars of the match, while Swedish goaltender Viktor Ahlund claimed the 3rd star.

While Bradford extends their perfect season, Shelburne still is search of their first win. The hardships for Shelburne look to be ending soon; as their roster begins to report to the team.  This is the first time since the 2009-2010 season that Bradford has opened the season with 9 wins. Last year at this point, Bradford stood 5-4-0.

The veteran leadership of Nikonov and Romanov are becoming a headlining story for the Rattlers. Nikonov recorded 8 points (2g, 6a) last night and Romanov notched 7 points (3g, 4a). As each of these players enter their final junior year, they have realized the importance of a good season to move onto higher levels of hockey.

This game had special significance for Romanov. This off-season, Bradford had to make the tough decision to not protect Sergey’s playing rights. In the 2011 GMHL Entry Draft; the Shelburne Red Wings drafted Romanov in the 8th round, 176th overall. Bradford had to make a trade with Shelburne, to recover his playing rights.

Tonight, Bradford travels to take on the Sturgeon Falls Lumberjacks (11-3-0). The first place club is a high scoring, fast paced team. The Lumberjacks have three of the top six leading scorers in the GMHL. Maciej Rompowski (Poland),  Joel Senecal (Canada) and Illes Gallo(Hungary) have recorded 41, 35 and 29 points, respectively, thus far. Maciej played in the IIHF World Junior Championships for Team Poland, Joel has played 2 seasons in the QMJHL, and Illes played as a 15 & 16 year old for Team Hungary in the IIHF World Junior Championship. These players will need to be shut down for Bradford to win.

Bradford next home game will be Sunday, October 23rd, when the Rattlers take on the South Muskoka Shield; game time 7:30.

3 Stars of the Game:
1st - Stanislav Nikonov, Bradford (2g,6a)
2nd – Sergey Romanov, Bradford (3g, 4a)
3rd – Viktor Ahlund, Bradford (.933 save%)