Jacks drop first of four games heading into break
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Jacks drop first of four games heading into break

The Wellesley Applejacks have a jam-packed week of hockey, with four games before the Christmas holiday.Post_WellesleyApplejacks
After falling 7-4 to the Burford Bulldogs Wednesday night, they were slated to head to Norwich to play the Merchants on Friday night, return home to play the Woodstock Navy Vets Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and leave to play the Paris Mounties on the Sunday for their final game before the break.
The Jacks went into the busy stretch having lost 7-2 to the Ayr Centennials, the top team in the league, on December 13.
Head coach Tim Robb said it could have been a closer game if they weren’t so short on players.
“We played with three lines and some of our better players were unavailable for the game, which doesn’t help us any,” Robb said. “That certainly affected our ability to put the puck in the net as well as defend the puck going in our own.”
The end of the university semester is synonymous with exams, and conflicting schedules haven’t treated the Jacks well.
“We’ve got the bodies who can do it when we’re all there and healthy,” Robb said. “We’ve been struck with a lot of missed man hours. Education for us is still number one and they’ve got to get their schooling. We’re not just about hockey.”
The Centennials dominated the game, scoring all seven of their goals before the Jacks could put one in the net. Ayr goals came from Colin Schuringa (2), Mackenzie Kemp, Kevan Hadad, Connor MacLean, Andrew Richard, and Quinn Diamond.
“It certainly wasn’t the result we were hoping for,” Robb said. “We’re obviously always gauging to keep games closer with them. They’ve got such a good team. That’s our goal is always to try to keep it close.”
Wellesley’s Cal Jefferies finally scored for the Jacks late into the third frame. He was followed by Sean McEwan, assisted by Jefferies, to give them two goals too late in the game.
Robb said two of their top players, Matt Schieck and Blake Hetherington weren’t able to play in the game, which hurt them. Two of their new players who they hoped would help them out had gone home for Christmas.
“We don’t really have much time to prepare for this week,” Robb said. “We’ve got four games and no practice. I keep trying to keep our hopes up. It’s not easy when you’re obviously not as strong a team as some of the teams you’re playing.”
He said they want to compete with the teams who are in the middle of the league and get out of eighth place. They’re working on building the team for next year, but aren’t giving up on this year.
“We’re very hopeful that our next 13 games are going to be as good or as better than our last,” Robb said. “We’re seven and seven over the last 14. We don’t want to land in eighth place and have to play Ayr in the first round of playoffs. We’d like to get out of the position of seventh. We’d like to be sixth or better.”
On Wednesday night, Jefferies’ natural hat trick in the second period (assisted in each case by Tyler Seguin), which staked the Jacks to a 3-1 lead by 8:48 in the second, wasn’t enough. Burford replied five times, making it 6-3, before Jefferies picked up another point, assisting on Wellesley’s fourth and final goal. The Bulldogs added an empty-netter to wind up 7-4 winners.
After Sunday’s game, the Jacks take a break for Christmas, but are back on the ice December 27 to welcome the Tavistock Braves to Wellesley. Game time is 7:30 p.m.

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