Falling to the Paris Mounties 7-3 in their lone game of the week, the Wellesley Applejacks find themselves in a four-way tie for third place in the South Doherty Division of the Provincial Junior Hockey League.
The Jacks’ record of 14-5-1-3 gives them 32 points, the same amount as the Mounties, the Norwich Merchants and Woodstock Navy Vets. Wellesley, however,has games in hand on each of the others, ranging from two over Paris to five in the case of Woodstock.
In fact, Wellesley’s 23 games is the fewest in the division, in part due to the recent postponement of a match against the Delhi Travellers. The schedule gets busier for the team this month, however, so they’ll make up some ground.
On the ice last weekend, the Jacks got off to a shaky start in Paris, and were never able to recover. The Mounties drew first blood just two minutes in,following that up with another goal at 6:03. The home team’s 2-0 lead is where things would stand after 20 minutes. Shots were 11-5 in favour of Paris.
The middle frame was something of a déjà vu, as the Mounties scored twice on a dozen shots, while Wellesley put up another goose egg despite doubling the number of pucks they put on net.
The Jacks stepped things up in the third period, however, getting on the board just 58 seconds in, courtesy of a goal off the stick of Zach Ribeiro, with Warren Gorman and Danny Ranson picking up assists. They kept the momentum going with another goal less than a minute later at 1:33 by Zachary Lyons (Daniel Tsiampas, Tyler Schwindt). Paris responded with a goal at 2:53, before Wellesley came back, netting one on a power play. That unassisted goal came from Alex Uttley at 4:01, making it 5-3.
Paris wasn’t about to let Wellesley come back that easily, though, potting another one quickly thereafter at 4:35. This would be by far the most action-packed portion of the game, with five collective goals in under five minutes, and eight total penalties throughout the frame.
Down 6-3, Wellesley opted to pull net minder Kailem Chappelle, only to give up an empty-net goal at 18:25.
The 17-shot in the third proved somewhat fruitful – final shots were 33-32 for Wellesley – but the Jacks left it to late en route to the 7-3 loss. The visitors were 1-5 with the man advantage, blanking the Mounties in three PK situations.
After a quiet week, the Jacks will have plenty of chances this weekend to move up the standings. They take on the South Doherty Division-leading Braves (21-2-1-1)Friday night in Tavistock, then return home Saturday night to face the Woodstock Navy Vets (15-11-1-1). Game time both nights is 7:30 p.m. Sunday, the team is back on the road, visiting the Norwich Community Centre to battle the Merchants (15-9-0-2) in a 2 p.m. matinee.