The Wellesley Applejacks split last weekend with a win over the Burford Bulldogs and a loss at the hands of the Hagersville Hawks.
Coming off a three-game winning streak the Jacks were unable to extend their good fortunes losing 4-3 to Hagersville on November 17, the first of back-to-back games.
The Hawks and the Jacks were evenly matched throughout their contest, but Hagersville made the most of its opportunities in taking the win.
Neither team gained more than a one-goal lead, but it was Hawks’ defenceman Jacob Brown’s goal in the third period that proved to be the difference maker.
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Hagersville was first on the scoreboard when forward Derek Medeiros potted his first of two against Jacks goalie Josh Heer during the first frame.
Wellesley responded quickly, tying the game when Corey Way found the back of the net at 14:27 to send both teams back to the room with one apiece.
Hagersville took the lead briefly in the second period when Medeiros once again beat Heer but that was short-lived, as Jacks’ Troy Williams would find the equalizer six minutes into the period.
The Jacks found themselves keeping the penalty box bench warm as they clocked in almost 20 minutes worth of infractions. Wellesley’s penalty kill was spotless, however, allowing no goal on five Hawks’ power plays.
The third frame opened with Wellesley going down by one, but the Jacks fought back throughout the period and managed to score off the stick of Devon Wagner, tying things up with five minutes remaining. But the Hawks would prevail when Brown beat Heer with less than a minute left in the contest.
The late goal put the game out of reach for the Jacks.
Hagersville forced Jacks netminder Heer to work hard in net, putting up 39 shots.
“We just couldn’t get the lead and by the end of the third period we had just run out of legs,” said Wellesley head coach Kevin Fitzpatrick. “They managed to score a fluky goal with about 40 seconds left and there wasn’t enough time to get one back. The Hawks are a good team and they play us rough.”
It would be a different story for the Jacks the following night as they visited the Burford Bulldogs and skated away with a 6-1 win.
Jacks forward Troy Williams netted a hat trick to lead his team in the victory.
Williams notched his first goal nine minutes into the first frame and add two more in the second at 5:22 and 10:56.
The Bulldogs were the first on the board catching the docile Jacks defence asleep when they scored in the opening minute of the game when Jim Salatas beat Heer. It would be the only goal Burford would get during the contest.
Wellesley fought back and scored two goals in the first by Williams and Jake Steenson. The Jacks good fortune would continue into the second as they increased their tally by four with two during power plays. The Jacks would head back to the room up by five goals.
The Bulldogs could not stay out of the sin bin, as the team accrued 58 minutes in penalties during the game compared to the 15 minutes accumulated by the Jacks.
The third frame would see neither team score.
Burford was stymied by the Jacks goaltender, as he stopped 28 shots en route to the victory. Burford’s starting goalie, Don Davis, made 11 saves and finished with the loss before he was taken out in favour of Ben Beechey, who finished the game.
“We played very well all weekend the difference between the two games was that we had more bodies against Burford. We brought up a line from our midget rep team and those guys played enough to give our guys a little break and let them catch their breath. We had a solid showing and the boys played well,” said Fitzpatrick.
The Jacks are back on home ice today (Saturday) against the Bulldogs. The puck drops at 7:30 p.m. for that game. The following day the boys are back on the road to Norfolk for an afternoon game starting at 2 p.m.