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Mellow de Melo: Host Dundas undefeated at Allan Cup

by Dan Carle

Dundas, Ontario – Phil Brewer had another game he won’t forget and third-string goaltender Ryan de Melo put his job as a wine maker on the rack to backstop the host Dundas Real McCoys to a 5-2 win over Innisfail Monday night at the 2024 Allan Cup.

Brewer overcame all-too familiar nerves to score three goals and Demelo stopped 33 shots to move Dundas (2-0) into the tournament driver’s seat – for the moment.

“The excitement, nervous energy – I think that’s always around especially in important games,” said Brewer, 34, who has four goals in two tournament games. The right wing scored the game winner in the Real McCoys 3-2 win over the South Shore Breakers from St. John’s, Newfoundland to open the tournament.

“Standing on the line for Oh Canada, it’s still there, let me tell you.”

Brewer opened the scoring three minutes in and ended with an empty netter with under a minute to go and left wing Nathan Longpre, 35, scored twice to put the host Real McCoys to within one victory of a return berth to the Canadian men’s AAA senior hockey final.

“It was nice to have one of those nights, that’s for sure,” said Brewer.

Innisfail (0-2), praised for its big, physical roster, traveled nearly 3,000 kilometres to appear in its third Allan Cup since 2019, but has yet to win.

“It’s kind of heart-wrenching,” said general manager Ryan Dodd.

“We can get it done. We just have to buy-in with hard work.”

The Eagles third and final round-robin game will be played

Wednesday against South Shore.

“If we’re not ready to go for the next one we’ll be ready to go home after that,” said Dodd.

Pressed into action after starter Mike Mole, last season’s Allan Cup MVP, injured his knee and backup Dan Davies popped a hamstring in the last game of the regular season, de Melo is next man up.

“Pressure is a privilege,” he said.” I’m 33 but don’t feel like it right now.”

De Melo has played in six leagues since 2007-08 and was the backup to Mole last season when the Real McCoys won their second Allan Cup.

“I love that you can be the hero or the goat,” he said.

Dundas meets Robertson Cup champion Stoney Creek Wednesday night in the final round-robin game for both teams, with a spot in Saturday’s tournament final assured for the victor.

The Tigers (1-0) played the Breakers (0-1) on Tuesday night.

“Wednesday is the big test,” said Brewer, a father of two.

“Our focus is to get that win and punch our ticket to Saturday.”

About Allan Cup Hockey (ACH) and the Allan Cup

Allan Cup Hockey (ACH), formerly Major League Hockey until 2011, is the top tier Canadian senior ice hockey league in the province of Ontario. Founded in 1990, as the Southwestern Senior “A” Hockey League, the ACH is a member of the Ontario Hockey Association and Hockey Canada. The ACH’s champion contends for the Allan Cup each year.

The Allan Cup is the trophy awarded annually to the senior ice hockey champions of Canada. It was donated by Sir Montagu Allan of Ravenscrag, Montreal, and has been competed for since 1909. The current champions are the Dundas Real McCoys, who captured the 2023 Allan Cup in Dundas, Ontario.

More about the Allan Cup Challenge

The 2024 Allan Cup Challenge goes from April 20-27 at the J.L. Grightmire Market Street Arena in Dundas, ON. For more information and to purchase tickets click here

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