The last-place Delhi Travellers were no match for the Wellesley Applejacks, who bested them twice over the weekend in a home-and-home series.
The Jacks won both games 6-0, with goaltender Ryan Hergott posting the shutouts. Delhi has yet to win a game this season, while Wellesley sits in second place.
Head coach Brad Gerber says that’s the result they were hoping for, but you’ve still got to come ready to play every game.
“It doesn’t matter who you’re playing. If you don’t show up and play the way it’s supposed to be played you’re not going to get the two points or the four points. I guess when you look at the standings we should win those two games, but you still have to play hard to win them,” Gerber said.
Wellesley was quick off the mark in Delhi on Friday, as Alex Uttley put his team on the scoreboard 22 seconds into the game. Jordan Hoekstra and Matthew Gauthier assisted. Nick Mercier brought the score to 2-0 on the power play, helped by Lucas Spence and Spencer Brick.
In the second period Hoekstra scored, assisted by Mario Alyas and Uttley. Gauthier increased the lead to 4-0, helped by Spence and Uttley to head into the final 20 minutes of play.
Captain Cal Jefferies and Mercier each added their own in the third to give Wellesley the 6-0 victory. Gauthier, Mercier, Brady Gerber and Brett Hartin were the helpers.
“I thought we played a 60-minute game. We only gave up 15 shots all night, which is something we’ve been really talking about getting better at, getting better on our end and not letting those odd-man rushes for the other team,” Gerber said.
Both teams kept well out of the penalty box, only accumulating eight penalty minutes apiece.
Back home in Wellesley the next night, as Delhi’s Jack Gee sat out on a high sticking call, Wellesley’s Nick Palmer took advantage of the power play opportunity to take the lead at 1:31. Tyson Bender and Jake Wilkinson assisted. Brady Gerber, helped by Brick and Evan Gowan increased the lead 2-0 five minutes later.
In the second, the Jacks continued their winning ways. Mercier and Wilkinson (2) added to the Jacks’ tally. Uttley, Hoekstra, Gauthier and Alyas earned assists.
Hartin scored the lone goal in the third, assisted by Jefferies to take the game 6-0. There were even fewer penalties this time around. Wellesley spent four minutes shorthanded to Delhi’s six.
“One thing I was really happy with is our penalty minutes obviously. Getting our penalty minutes down is important and we’re a much better team five-on-five,” Gerber said.
He notes they made some poor decisions with the puck in their home game, but still came out with the win.
Three AP players filled out the Jacks’ roster over the weekend, due to players out with injuries or suspensions.
“For young guys, 16-years-old, they did well. It’s good for the future for sure and it’s nice to be able to get those guys in and give them some experience this time of the year. It’s going to be very valuable for them down the road,” Gerber said.
He adds Hergott wasn’t tested much between the pipes on Friday night, but he made some important saves on Saturday night when the game was still in reach for Delhi.
This week the Jacks will be working on the usual – playing in their own end without the puck, power plays and penalty kills.
Gerber says both wins were a team effort, but mentions Jake Wilkinson had a strong game on Saturday after missing the previous weekend with an injury.
“He did a lot of little things well, he took the puck to the net hard and he got rewarded with a couple goals by it. And that’s what we’ve been telling the guys, drive the puck to the net and good things will happen.”
It’s going to be a full weekend for Wellesley with three games in as many days. On Friday they’re off to New Hamburg for a 7:30 p.m. game. They return home on Saturday to face Norwich at 7:30 p.m. and finish the weekend at home with a 2 p.m. game on Sunday versus Burford. After that, the Jacks don’t have another home game until Dec. 11.