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Losing weekend sees new coach for Jacks

Applejack captain Reid Denstedt had a glorious chance to find the back of the net during the first period against Burford Nov. 21 at the Wellesley arena. While Denstedt failed to convert the opportunity, he would go on to score later in Wellesley’s 6-1 rout. [Scott Barber / The Observer]

The Wellesley Applejacks continued their losing streak this weekend, with losses to the New Hamburg Firebirds and the Woodstock Navy Vets, and a new coach after head coach Paul Wilkinson resigned.

Applejacks captain Reid Denstedt pushes past Woodstock player Nathan Innes during game action Oct. 25 in Wellesley.[Whitney Neilson / The Observer]
Applejacks captain Reid Denstedt pushes past Woodstock player Nathan Innes during game action Oct. 25 in Wellesley. [Whitney Neilson / The Observer]
The losses dropped the team to 3-9, second-last in the Midwestern Junior C League. Only Delhi (0-12) has a worse record.

General Manager Bill Grebinski said Wilkinson resigned for personal reasons and they’ve hired Tim Robb from Waterloo to take his place.

“He’s excellent with the new systems, he’s fair to all of the players,” Grebinski said. “I am very excited to have Tim on board.”

Robb has been coaching for close to 15 years.

The Jacks fell to New Hamburg 4-3 in overtime on October 24 to start the weekend.

Wellesley dominated the first period with a power play goal by Cal Jeffries, assisted by Jake Wilkinson and Coleton Madge at 11:15. Tyler Seguin fired the puck past Firebirds goalie Ryan Purcell, four and a half minutes later to head into the second period with a 2-0 advantage.

But the Firebirds would return the favour in the second frame courtesy of goals from Jaden Goetz, Colin Martin (Carter Tracey, Jay Fried), and Anthony Osterling (Brodie Muckler).

The Applejacks’ recent trade acquisition, Alex Uttley, tied up the game in the third with help from Jason Younger and Coleton Madge. They were defeated in overtime when Kory Nowak slipped a goal past Jacks goalie Tim Bester on a power play. He was assisted by David Jennings and Andrew Boer.

Wellesley spent more than double New Hamburg’s time in the box, with 14 minutes to the host team’s six. The Jacks had 24 shots on net to the Firebirds’ 41.

Grebinski said they’re moving in a forward direction.

“I think you’re going to notice a big difference moving ahead,” Grebinski said.

The Jacks returned home the next night to take on sixth-place team, the Woodstock Navy Vets. Wellesley went into the second period 1-0 after Blake Hetherington scored at 4:35 in the first, assisted by Reid Denstedt. Hetherington would score the lone goal for Wellesley, as Woodstock’s Mike Gillespie (Jeremy Racicot, Braden Hutchison) and Mackenzie Langford (Jeremy Racicot) gave them a 2-1 lead to end the second period.

Wellesley pulled their goalie near the end of the third to try to increase their scoring chances, but just as in their game against Tavistock when they pulled their goalie, Woodstock’s Dylan Wettlaufer (Dan Haig) scored on the empty net to make the final tally 3-1.

Woodstock racked up just 12 minutes of penalty time, compared to Wellesley’s 24.

He said they plan to show extremely well, and despite Delhi’s last place position they’re taking that game very seriously.

“We’re really aspiring to break this down to five game spurts,” Grebinski said. “We want to win three out of five. That should get us into middle of the pack position which will leave us in an excellent playoff position.”

The Jacks hope this weekend is more about the treats than the same old tricks. In Tavistock Friday night, they’re home Saturday to face Delhi, which is having a very scary season of its own. Game time is 7:30 p.m. at the Wellesley arena.

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