The Wellesley Applejacks scored three unanswered goals in the second period en route to a 5-2 win over the Norfolk Rebels during action at the Wellesley arena Dec. 10.
After a lackluster first period that would end with neither team scoring, the Jacks came out flying after the first intermission, taking it to the Rebels who seemed sluggish returning to the ice after 20 minutes of play.
Wellesley defenceman Geoff Parr got things rolling with his team shorthanded – James Mildon was in the penalty box for hooking – when he received a quick pass from Shawn Fitzpatrick and fired a one-timer above the right shoulder of Norfolk goalie Jeff Stillman.
A minute and half later the Jacks were once again in the Rebels’ end when Parr found Blair Witmer alone in front of the net. Witmer made no mistake, chipping the puck over the glove of Stillman to give his team a 2-0 lead.
To finish off the second frame the Jacks, who had been defending vigorously for the remainder of the period, were given a powerplay after the Rebels’ Matt Vansickle was called for interference. That led to Tyler Eckert, Mark Detzier and Brent Vickers combing to give the home side three heading back to the room.
Perhaps a little too comfortable up 3-0, the Jacks got a rude awakening in the third period when Norfolk’s Steve Parker broke out during a play in his own end and headed down the ice, beating goaltender Josh Heer to put the Rebels on the scoreboard.
Connor McLeod would reply for the Jacks a short time later after receiving a beautiful pass from Eckert just inside the blue line and firing a wrist shot high right that beat Stillman.
A minute after taking a 4-1 lead the Jacks were given a penalty when Josh Herd was called for cross checking. The 5-on-4 Rebel advantage was too much for the defending Jacks, as Rebel Matt Vansickle slipped the puck low across the ice and squeezing it in between the post and Heer’s glove.
The Jacks quickly recomposed themselves and with less than three minutes on the clock Parr picked up the puck at centre ice and make his way through the Rebel defence, sliding it to Eckert who was waiting patiently to the left of the goal to cash number 5.
The Rebels continued to push but where unable to score again in the remaining minutes of the game.
Heer stopped 25 of 27 shots for the win.
Head coach Kevin Fitzpatrick was pleased that his team pulled off a win after a hard loss to the first-place Delhi Travellers last weekend. The win moved Wellesley into third place in the McConnell Conference.
“We still have to start playing a lot better than we did,” said Fitzpatrick referring to the fact that the team had a slow start in the first period.
“We made some nice plays during the game but we should never have let (Norfolk) score that second goal. That penalty cost us a goal but any win is a good win. We had some players that really held us together including Parr who a terrific game and Heer who was been solid in net for us all season.”
The Jacks play two at home this weekend, starting Friday night against the Hagersville Hawks and then on Saturday versus the Tavistock Braves. Both games begin at 7:30 p.m.