The Wellesley Applejacks were on fire this weekend as they picked up another four points with little resistance. Continuing their winner-takes-all performance from the week prior, the Jacks rolled over the Delhi Travellers 13-1 at the Wellesley arena on Friday. The following night, the Jacks braved the snowy trek to Paris, where they went on to leave the home out in the cold by a score of 4-0.
The wins gave the third-place Jacks (11-2-1-3) some a much needed boost as they try to catch up to the top two teams of the league, Tavistock (15-2) and New Hamburg (15-4-0-1), while putting some crucial distance ahead of the receding fourth-place contenders, the Norwich Merchants (11-7).
Of the two games, the matchup against the Travellers presented the lowest hurdle for the Jacks, as the home side all but stole the show yet again from eighth-place Delhi squad (2-17).
The Jacks put up five on the board in the first frame alone, with the first goal coming just 23 seconds in off the stick of Alex Uttley.
Uttley potted the team’s second point minutes later, followed by Zachary Lyons, and then James Ranson, who netted the team’s fifth in the last five seconds of the period.
Ranson put another one on the board halfway through the second, this time with Uttley lending the assist. Robert Colton followed up to make it 7-0 for the Jacks a few minutes later, followed again by Uttley with his third of the match.
The Travellers potted their lone goal of the match 14 minutes into the second – an unassisted marker from Mattson Demarest, but Wellesley’s Brendan Baker quickly responded with a marker of his own, making the score 9-1 by the end of the second.
The final 20 minutes of play saw the Jacks add four more to the board before the buzzer, the first coming from defenseman Peter Cascagnette, four minutes in. Jordan Hoekstra followed with the team’s first power-play marker of the match; Zach Ribeiro made it an even 12, and rounding out the scoring was Warren Gorman with the game’s second and final power play marker as things were winding down.
Coming off a 13-1 landslide victory, the boys continued to rack up the points in Saturday night’s game against Paris – a much tougher nut to crack. The Jacks had beaten the Mounties 7-3 early in October in their first meeting of the season, but were played to an overtime tie just weeks later, giving Wellesley and Paris the only tie of the season thus far after overtime solved nothing.
And the Mounties enjoying home-ice advantage, the odds were stacked pretty evenly that Paris would at least cause some trouble for the visiting team.
But there was no trouble to be had, as Wellesley netminder Kailem Chappelle claimed his second shutout of the season (the first dating back to a mid-September 15-0 blowout against the Travellers).
The solid defense and netminding of the Wellesley Applejacks was the star of the game, as the team fended off roughly twice as many shots on net as they got (31-16). Though giving up five power plays, the Jacks’ defenders were perfect, while the team capitalized on one of its four changes with the man advantage.
Koby Seiling (Uttley, Hoekstra) opened the scoring 11:28 into the first with the lone goal of the frame.
Star shooter Uttley potted the next two points, 3:30 (Shaun Pickering, Hoekstra) and 6:50 (Pickering, Tyler Schwindt) into the second.
The score was 3-0 by the final stanza, and Ribeiro (Danny Ranson, Warren Gorman) added one more on the power play to make it four at 16:41.
With another two wins under their belt, the Jacks will be hoping to recreate the magic as they take on back-to-back visitors at the Wellesley arena this weekend. On Friday, they’ll welcome the seventh-place Ayr Centennials for a 7:30 p.m. matchup. The following night, however, will be the most challenging game of the week as Jacks welcome the first-place New Hamburg Firebirds for a rematch, again at 7:30 p.m.
New Hamburg has definitely been the stronger team this season so far, but the Jacks have proven to be near indomitable at home. The Wellesley team fell in their first two matches on the road against the Firebirds, but then came back to stomp their rivals 4-2 just last week in their first meeting on Wellesley ice.