It was a terrific start for Tyler Miller.
He and his Kenora Thistles teammates could have done without the ending.
One of four players with Fort Frances connections on the Thistles, Miller scored the game’s opening goal, but was part of a full-team meltdown that saw the Brantford Blast erase a three-goal deficit and come away with a 5-4 victory on Monday in the opening game of the 2014 Allan Cup in Dundas.
Miller scored 2:32 into the game, although the goal was erroneously credited to linemate Rob Lawrence.
Kenora led 2-0 and 4-1 in the first period, but Brantford stormed back with three goals in a span of 2:06 later in what was a first period played at breakneck speed.
The last 40 minutes was all about defence, with the Blast’s Dave Russell getting the game-winner at 2:42 of the second for the only tally of the final two frames.
Anthony Marshall made 24 saves for Brantford, while Ryan Person had 20 for the Thistles, who got an automatic berth in this year’s Allan Cup after Quebec decided not to ice an entry for this year’s tournament, meaning Kenora didn’t have to take part in a Renwick Cup playoff to make it into the event.
Miller and Dan MacIntyre are the two Fort Frances natives on the team.
Goalie Cody Wood from Atikokan is a former Muskie, while fellow netminder Tyler Gordon manned the cage for the Borderland Thunder in the 2004-05 campaign.
The Thistles face a crucial game today in Division One action against the Clarenville (NL) Caribous at 2:30 p.m. CDT.
It will be the first game of the tournament for the Caribous.
Division Two of the tournament features the host Dundas Real McCoys, along with the defending champion Bentley (Alta.) Generals and the South East Prairie Thunder from Manitoba.
The round-robin wraps up tomorrow, with the playoffs beginning on Thursday. The final is set for Saturday.