Heading to neighbouring New Hamburg September 28 for their lone game of the week, the Wellesley Applejacks fought the home team to a near standstill before eventually falling in overtime.
After a gruelling 60 minutes of game time, with little scoring, the two teams were thrown into overtime to settle the 1-1 tie established in the first period. Ultimately, it was the Firebirds who prevailed, sending the Jacks back to Wellesley to regroup for a week before the next game. The team is on the road again Friday night, but this time in Woodstock.
Playing September 28, the Jacks were taking on the rival Firebirds in their first meeting of the regular season. The two teams had met twice before during the pre-season, with each team picking up one win and taking one loss.
This time, the scoreboard held mostly static, with all the scoring coming in the first 20 minutes of play.
New Hamburg opened the scoring with a power play marker from Nathaniel Thibodeau (Colin Martin) 6:46 into the first. The Firebirds lead was quickly answered by Wellesley Applejacks at the 13-minute mark.
Wellesley newcomer Robert Colton (Will Martin, Brendan Baker) returned the favour, knotting the board up 1-1 for reminder of regulation time.
There would be no more scoring in the second or third, while the penalties were few and far between, with Wellesley and New Hamburg only racking up six and four minutes worth of infractions respectively.
The final decision would come in overtime.
Just 30 seconds into the extended game, after almost 50 scoreless minutes, New Hamburg’s Tyler Randerson (Nathan George, Josh Vale) would pick up the final goal, ending the game 2-1 in the hosts’ favour.
The game was a fairly civil affair, with neither side getting many power play opportunities. Jacks were 0-2 in power plays, while the Firebirds were just 1-3.
With the loss, the Jacks are 2-3 after three weeks of the new season. The records puts the Jacks at a significant distance behind four other teams in the nine-team division: Tavistock, Paris and Norwich, which each have four wins, and New Hamburg, which has five.
This weekend, the Applejacks will again be on the road to face two more teams. On Friday, the team will be playing in Woodstock against the Navy Vets; the puck drops at 7:45 p.m. The following evening, the Jacks will be Paris to face the Mounties in a 7:30 p.m. match.
The Jacks’ home opener will be the weekend after that, on October 13, with two back-to-back games scheduled on Saturday and Sunday against Woodstock and Norwich.