The Wellesley Applejacks had a good showing this weekend, winning two of three games played on consecutive nights.
First up, on Nov. 20 the Jacks faced the Paris Mounties on home ice, losing 6-2. The boys held their own until the third period, when head coach Brad Gerber says the boys let their guard down and allowed five goals against, two of which were on the power play.
“The score wasn’t what the game was, I don’t think,” he said, mentioning that Wellesley was only one point behind heading into the third. “We played as we wanted to in the first two periods, and in the third period we just got away from what we wanted to do. That is what happens against good teams – if you make too many mistakes, they will score on you. We just let it slip in the third.”
The Jacks got two on the board in the third, with the first goal coming from Sean McEwan, assisted by Garrett Schultz and Nick Mercier. The second goal was scored by Joe Heath, helped along by Alex Uttley. They were no match for Paris’ five goals in the third, however.
Saturday’s game had a much better outcome, with the Jacks defeating the Delhi Travellers 5-4. Gerber says they won because the guys adhered to the plan.
“For 60 minutes, we stuck to our game plan and it was a good effort,” he said, adding that it was a big improvement over Friday’s showing. “We pulled it out. Again, the boys worked hard and we got good results. Hard work always pays off.”
To round out the jam-packed weekend schedule, the Jacks were back on home ice for a matinee puck-drop against Burford.
The game went into overtime, but Gerber says it shouldn’t have. Wellesley were out ahead by one goal, and with 1.3 seconds left in the third period, the Bulldogs’ Nolan Ferris got one past unsuspecting goalie Ryan Porter, forcing an overtime period.
“It just goes to show, you have to play all 60 minutes. You can’t quit until the final buzzer,” he said. “I thought we had that game well in hand, with a 3-1 lead late in the third, we played a great game, especially for the third game in three days.”
Scoring started 11 minutes into the first with Burford’s first goal of the game. Jensen DaSilva sunk one on the power play, while Wellesley’s Jake Wilkinson was in the box for high sticking. Wilkinson made up for his time on a penalty by scoring an unassisted goal just before the end of the first.In the second period, McEwan doubled up with two goals 10 minutes apart, the first helped along by Uttley and Justin Lebold, and second assisted by Cal Jefferies and Uttley. McEwan brought Wellesley ahead by two goals heading into the third.
The Jacks held off Burford for most of the third, and it looked like they had clinched the win when the Bulldogs scored two in the last two minutes of play. Gerber says the guys could have let the tie get them down, but they persevered, scoring just over a minute into overtime, winning the game.
“I will give the boys a lot of credit,” he said. “They showed a lot of character, pulled it together, stayed focused and obviously, we won.”
He also credits the team with pulling out a win after two weekends of three games each.
“It was a hard fought win and the third game in three days,” said Gerber. “I don’t think the boys showed they were tired and we used four lines most of the weekend, which really helps. We stayed with our game plan and it paid off. We have done that for a couple games in a row, and gotten wins because of that. It isn’t just a one-time thing. They have to do this every weekend.”
After two intense weekends, the Jacks will only be playing one game this coming weekend in Tavistock against the Braves at 7:30 p.m. After that game, the boys will have the rest of the weekend off.
“It is going to be a quiet weekend this weekend. We are going to give them the rest of the weekend and let them enjoy something besides hockey,” said Gerber.