Perhaps some seasonal magic rubbed off on the Applejacks, as the team parlayed a Friday night appearance at the Wellesley Christmas Tyme Parade into a pair of decisive wins over the rest of the weekend.
In Delhi Saturday night, the Jacks beat the Travellers 7-2, only to go one better – well, two better – the following night in Burford, handing the Bulldogs a 9-2 defeat.
“Two wins, we will take that anytime,” said head coach Brad Gerber. “It was a good weekend for a lot of players. The scoring was pretty spread out, which is always nice. So, yeah, it was a good weekend for the guys, that’s for sure”
Delhi has yet to win a game this season, and the Jacks were in no mood to see that change, having won the previous two games. They made it three, getting goals up and down the roster, with Kyle Soper posting a four-point night via a hat trick and an assist.
Soper got things rolling with a goal at 2:31, assisted by Zach Ribeiro and Ryan Sparkes. The Jack’s Shaun Pickering padded the lead with an unassisted goal at 10:03.
Soper saw his second of the game at 15:20, from Sparkes and Ribeiro. And Pickering (Alex Uttley, Trent Dundas) finished off the period with his second to make it 4-0.
Delhi finally got on the board just over halfway through the middle frame, but Wellesley’s Will Martin scored at 13:31 from Lamarche to extend the lead to 5-1.
Soper snatched a hatty before the end of the second, from Sparkes and Gerber at 18:32, to wrap up the frame.
The Travellers managed one more at 11:12, but the game was long over by then. Brady Gerber wrapped up the scoring, assisted by Soper and Sparkes at 18:45. The final score was 7-2.
“Delhi is a team that, they don’t have a very good record obviously, but they work hard, so we wanted to make sure that we were ready to go,” coach Gerber said. “We were winning 4-0 after the first period and that’s the start we wanted, for sure, down there especially. We had three lines going for us that night and every line contributed. That was a good win for us.”
The team was off to Burford the following evening. Having come across victories the three prior meetings, the Jacks didn’t disappoint and increased their on the road record to 9-4, showing they are a force to be reckoned with in enemy territory.
As with the stop in Delhi, Wellesley scored early and often, eventually peppering Burford netminder Curtis D’Orentzio with 63 shots. At the other end of the ice, Wellesley’s Ryan Hergott faced just 29 shots, the ice seeming to tip the other way.
“We have been telling the guys for quite some time, if not most of the season, we want them to shoot the puck more, get the puck to the net and then go to the net,” said Gerber. “There is good goaltending in the league, but the goaltenders do allow rebounds and all the goals don’t have to be pretty tic-tac-toe goals. Most goals come in the ugly way and that’s going to the net hard and crashing and banging – we have been telling the guys to shoot a lot more and they definitely did just that in Burford with the 63 shots.”
In addition to the overall offensive push, it was another four-point game for a Jack. This time it was Pickering pulling off a hat trick in the first, with an assist coming later during the 9-2 win.
Pickering got the ball rolling with a goal at 3:30 from Uttley and Jack’s captain Spencer Brick. Brady Gerber picked up the Jack’s second goal on the power play from Ribeiro and Nathan Schlupp at 7:56.
Pickering got his second of the game from Uttley at 8:26, and rounded out his hat trick at 10:24 from Uttley and Brick extending the lead 4-0 by the end of the first.
Brick got one half way through the second, from Pickering and Uttley. While Tomas Azzano, from Sparkes, wrapped up the second-period scoring for the Jack’s at 13:30.
However, Burford made it on the board before the end of the frame to make the score 6-1 in the Jack’s favour.
Wellesley’s Gerber opened up the final frame with a goal from Soper and Greg Huber. Burford answered back with one of their own at 7:47 to complete scoring for the home team.
The Jack’s, however, weren’t quite finished just yet, with Ribeiro potting one from Dundas and MacInnis at 10:32, followed by Soper from Azzano and Dundas to make it 9-2 by the time the buzzer sounded.
“It is nice to get scoring from all three lines. Our defenseman, both nights joined in and played some good games for us, so all in all it was a good weekend,” said Gerber. “Anytime you can get four points on the road, you know it’s a good weekend. We are quite happy.”
The Jacks (14-10-1-1) are on the road Thursday night in Ayr to face the Centennials (21-4-0-2) before returning home to play against the Woodstock Navy Vets (19-6-0-1). Game time is 7:30 p.m.
“Woodstock is a good team. We haven’t played them for quite a while now and they won the first two games – both games were close, but we are excited to get them in our barn and hopefully get two points from them this time. We owe ‘em one,” Gerber said. “We are looking forward to the weekend, getting more points and keep moving up in the standings.”