The Wellesley Applejacks had more than just their opponents to contend with when they made the trip down to Hagersville last Saturday night to take on the Hawks. The Jacks fell 7-4 in that game, but head coach Kevin Fitzpatrick said much of the blame for the loss fell on the referees. “I don’t ever complain about refereeing, but they were completely intimidated down there,” said Fitzpatrick
“The score wasn’t indicative of the game; we out-chanced them and they’re just a dirty hockey team.”
Hagersville took a 1-0 lead to the dressing room after the first period on a goal by Aleck Boyd at 9:48, but the Hawks exploded in the second for four unanswered goals in the first 12:32 to take a stranglehold on the match.
Fitzpatrick took particular exception with the Hawks second goal, scored at 1:25 of the second, and he said that a Hagersville player collided with Jacks goaltender Josh Heer, forcing him out of the net and leading to the goal.
Another issue for Fitzpatrick was when at the start of the third the Hawks’ Kyle Parsons and the Jacks’ Josh Herd got into a fight. Fitzpatrick alleges that the Hagersville player ripped off Herd’s helmet and started hitting him over the head with it.
“We’re lucky he didn’t have a concussion,” Fitzpatrick said.
“Their coach was screaming all sorts of obscenities at [the referee] and at our players, and nothing was done.” Following that fight the Jacks finally pushed back and tallied four unanswered goals to make the score 5-4.
Tyler Eckert scored at 1:56 from Reid Denstedt and Rob Hinschberger, Mitch Metzer got a shorthanded goal just seconds later from Brett Vickers, Matt Soveregn made it 5-3 at 4:17 from Denstedt, and Metzger scored his second of the period on the powerplay at 6:55 to make it a 5-4 hockey game.
Yet Fitzpatrick said the referees again were intimidated by the Hagersville bench, and called four straight penalties against Wellesley, allowing the Hawks to score on the powerplay at 11:29 to take a 6-4 lead.
“Once they got the sixth goal on the powerplay, we stopped getting sent to the penalty box,” said Fitzpatrick.
The Hawks tallied an unassisted goal at 19:20 to round out the scoring.
The game was an important one for both teams, as Wellesley was only one point behind the Hawks for second in the division heading into the match, and they now sit three back with 36 points following the loss.
The coach said he intends to take his transgressions up with the OHA when he returns to the area after being away on business. He said he even has photos of Herd getting hit over the head with the helmet.
“When I get back I’m going to take the pictures into the OHA office. It was so blatant.”
This past week the Jacks have been trying to push that game from their mind in preparation for their matchup against the St. George Dukes at home last night (Friday). The Dukes were only one point behind Wellesley in the standings heading into the match, but results were not available before press.
On Sunday, the Jacks will look for some retribution against the Hawks when Hagersville arrives in Wellesley for a match on Sunday afternoon. The puck drops at 3 p.m.