Three games in as many days is a tough challenge, so emerging with a pair of wins was a nice prize for the Wellesley Applejacks. Though they’d have liked to have beaten the top-ranked Tavistock Braves to get the weekend rolling last Friday night, they would go on to beat Woodstock and Norwich.
The wins shook up a four-way tie that had emerged last week for the third place spot in the South Doherty Division standings, with the Jacks, the Merchants, the Navy Vets and the Paris Mounties all with the same point total. After this weekend’s four points, the Jacks (16-6-1-3) pulled ahead of Paris (16-9-1-1) and Woodstock (15-12-2-1), but still remained tied in third with the Norwich Merchants (17-10-0-2).
The Braves continue to hold down first place, picking up another two points December 14 in a 7-3 win over the visiting Jacks, who did rally at one point to make a game of it.
Wellesley drew first blood in this match, nine minutes into the first, with a short-handed marker coming from Alex Uttley, assisted by Daniel Tsiampas.
The Braves, however, put the next two points on the board, with the last coming 40 seconds before the first intermission.
The second proved to be even more disastrous, with the Braves picking up another two, including a penalty shot, while letting nothing by in return.
That put the Jacks on the short end of a 4-1 difference for the final 20 minutes of play, and it was at this point that the Wellesley team closed the gap. Taking advantage of back-to-back power plays, Jordan Hoekstra (D. Tsiampas, Ethan Hebel) buried the team’s second goal seven minutes into the frame, followed by a third coming from Zach Ribeiro (Hoekstra, Uttley).
The board was now 4-3, but that’s as close as it would get. Perhaps feeling the heat, the Braves knocked another three into the net before the frame was out. Tavistock’s Ryan Donat potted an unassisted power play marker at 13:33, and Mitch McKay put in the last goal of the game unassisted to make it 7-3.
Following Friday’s loss, the Jacks were back in fighting form the next night. Playing host to the Woodstock Navy Vets, Wellesley’s Bryce Dettweiler posted his first shutout of the season.
There was no scoring in the first, but Wellesley opened the second frame with a goal 51 seconds in off the stick of D. Tsiampas (J. Tsiampas). Ribeiro (Danny Ranson, Reade MacInnis) potted a second at the 13 minute mark, making it 2-0 by the second intermission.
Two more goals followed in the third, the first coming a minute in from Ranson (Uttley, Shaun Pickering). Pickering (D. Tsiampas, Uttley) capped off the game with an empty-netter to make it 4-0.
Back on the road Sunday for a stop in Norwich, the Jacks were able to claim another victory in a matinee match against the home team. The Merchants put up a bit of resistance, scoring a single goal in the first, but could not stop the Applejacks from skating to a 4-1 win.
Uttley (Tyler Schwindt, Brendan Baker) potted the first goal of the game in this match, coming five minutes into the first. The Merchants would respond at 17 minutes, knotting it up 1-1 by the first intermission.
The second saw Jacks dominate with two more goals, the first a short-handed marker from Zachary Lyons (Warren Gorman), followed by a second from Uttley (Kyle Soper, MacInnis) to make it 3-1 tilt for the last 20 minutes of play.
The third proved to be a relatively uneventful affair until the home team pulled its netminder for the extra attacker. The empty net was just too easy a target for Kyle Soper, who tallied a final goal unassisted for the visitors to make it 4-1.
A three-game weekend behind them, the Jacks are going to keep the ball rolling as they head into the Christmas season.
This coming weekend, Wellesley will be facing off against the same three teams, albeit in a different order. On Friday, the Jacks are in Woodstock for a 7:30 p.m. game. Saturday will see the Jacks return to Wellesley arena for another 7:30 game against Norwich. Then on Sunday, the Applejacks invite the Tavistock Braves for a 2 p.m. rematch.
The busy schedule continues into the following weeks as the Jacks play the Ayr Centennials in North Dumfries, December 27 , at 7:30 p.m. Finally, on December 29 the will invite the Burford Bulldogs for another 7:30 home game at the Wellesley arena.