There was a one-sided win, a hard-fought loss and a smackdown from the weather that postponed a third game on the Wellesley Applejacks’ schedule in the past week.
Last weekend got off to a good start, as the Jacks handily beat the Navy Vets 9-2 in Woodstock December 13. The home game against Norwich set for the following night was postponed due to the snowy weather, with Wellesley returning to home ice Wednesday night only to drop a 2-1 decision to the Paris Mounties, putting an end to the team’s three-game winning streak.
Friday the 13th brought bad luck only to the home side in Woodstock, as the Jacks scored early and often, with the Navy Vets mustering little in reply.
Mackenzie Shantz got things rolling for the visitors, scoring at 4:23 with the assistance of Bret MacDonald and Felix Lantaigne. Alex Stoody scored under two minutes later at 6:10, with MacDonald and Blake Hetherington getting the helpers.
Woodstock then got past Jacks goalie Bruce Brayden at 17:31 followed 42 seconds later by Jacks’ Sean McEwan at 18:13 with assists from Troy Williams and Shantz. It was 3-1 Jacks after 20 minutes.
The middle frame belonged to Wellesley, which potted three unanswered goals before the siren went again. Goals were talled by Shantz (Reid Denstedt) at 5:15, Williams (Denstedt, Hetherington) at 12:20 and Devon Wagner (Denstedt, MacDonald) at 15:59.
The ice continued to tilt in Wellesley’s favour in the third, when Stoody (Hetherington) and Parker Wood (McEwan) scored two more for the Jacks at 4:59 and 5:47 respectively. The Vets found strength enough for a second goal at 9:53, but it was much too little too late. The last goal of the night went to Williams (McEwan, Denstedt ) at 12:33 for the 9-2 win.
Wellesley’s dominance was also reflected on the shot counter: 18-16 in first, 21-12 in second and 13-5 in third for 52-35 overall.
How Wellesley would have fared their latest match with Norwich remains to be seen: the game was cancelled due to heavy snowfall on Saturday, but the Jacks were back on the ice against Paris on Wednesday. Where the Jacks had been freewheeling against Woodstock, goals were hard to come by against the Mounties. Instead, the game was a goaltenders’ battle.
In the end, Paris netminder Zach Schompe stopped 39 of the 40 shots he faced, while Wellesley’s Josh Heer stopped 32 of 34, that one goal difference the final margin.
The opening period was scoreless, with Wellesley outshooting the visiting squad 12-9. It wasn’t until more than halfway through the second that any scoring occurred, with the Jacks breaking the ice. Troy Williams, assisted by Luke Rose and Wood, beat Schompe at 12:05.
Unfortunately for the home team, the Mounties, scoreless through 52 minutes, were able to solve Heer not once but twice in the third at 12:01 and 14:05 to seal the 2-1 comeback win.
“Our discipline has gotten a lot better I’ve been very pleased with that. Last week and this week our bigger struggles have been university and college exams. We really don’t have a full lineup for the next couple of weeks,” said head coach Rob Way.
In Tavistock to face the Braves Friday night, the Jacks return to the Wellesley arena Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. to take on New Hamburg. Following a week off, the boys are back on home ice again December 28 hoping for a repeat against the Navy Vets.