Picking up five of six available points made for a good week, but didn’t do much to change the Wellesley Applejacks’ place in the standings.
Still, a pair of wins over the Delhi Travellers and a tie against the Paris Mounties is nothing to sneeze at.
Things started off strong during last Friday’s game in Delhi. Alex Uttley drew first blood in the opening frame, taking advantage of a power play at 15:32. Matt Caskanette and Colton Culbert picked up assists. That would be the period’s only scoring, meaning the Jacks went into the intermission up 1-0.
The next scoring play again came off the stick of Uttley (Daniel McCutcheon, James Ranson) at 7:14, and the score would remain 2-0 through much of the second before Delhi finally got on the board at 17:19. It was only a one-goal game for a couple of minutes, however, as Tyler Schwindt made it 3-1 with a goal at 19:24, Keegan Saunders and Uttley picking up assists.
Delhi made it close again by potting another goal at 5:11 of the third stanza, but it was all Wellesley after that. Shaun Pickering (Uttley, Kyle Soper) scored at 12:29, followed by Culbert (Zachary Lyons, Pickering) at 13:53 as the Jacks skated to a 5-2 final result.
Saturday’s home game versus Paris proved to be a little more closely matched. The first period started relatively uneventful, with no scoring from either side. There was a bit of roughhousing, with penalties handed out evenly between both teams.
It was Paris that broke the ice in the middle frame, taking advantage of a power play at 2:23. This was followed by another Mounties goal at 6:27 before Wellesley responded, with Pickering (J. Ranson) potting one at 7:31. It gave the Jacks their much-needed momentum, with Soper (Zach Ribeiro) scoring at 15:35 on a power play. The teams again went to the room on equal footing, this time at 2-2.
Wellesley was the first to get on the board in the final stanza, courtesy of Ribeiro (Soper, J. Ranson) at 16:04, before Paris quickly evened things out on a power play at 17:13. The 3-3 matchup led the game into overtime. There were a few penalties handed out, but no scoring in OT, resulting in a tie. Wellesley outshot Paris overall in this game 42-30.
For the third game of the weekend, the Jacks had a rematch against Delhi, who lived up to their name by travelling to the Wellesley arena on Sunday. Perhaps they’d have been better off staying at home, the better to avoid a 15-0 pasting.
Warren Gorman kicked things off at 3:33 with an unassisted goal, followed by Culbert (Uttley, Soper) shortly after at 4:45. Uttley potted one more goal for good measure on a power play at 18:48 with Gorman and Pickering picking up assists.
The Jacks took the Travellers by storm in the second stanza, completely dominating the frame with eight goals. Kicking off this scoring frenzy was D. Ranson at 3:26, with J. Ranson and Gorman picking up assists. This was followed up at 5:45 by Lyons (Ribeiro, Pickering), and shortly after again by Gorman (Lyons, Ribeiro) at 6:01. Continuing the scoring streak was Pickering (Uttley) at 8:57, and again just 10 seconds later by Uttley (MacInnes, Pickering). Ribeiro potted two more consecutive goals throughout the frame, with Lyons and Gorman picking up assists for both. Rounding out the destruction in the period was D. Ranson (J. Ranson, Tyler Schwindt) at 17:03. Delhi seemed to take the hits in stride, with no penalties on either side throughout. This gave Wellesley a substantial 11-0 lead headed into the last frame.
Uttley scored fairly quickly at 4:21, with Pickering and Culbert picking up assists. This was followed by Gorman (Pickering, Matt Caskanette) at 8:24, earning himself a hat trick in the process. Another goal was earned courtesy of Schwindt (Uttley, Pickering), and Uttley managed to score the final goal as well as get a hat trick at 12:52. Keegan Saunders and Pickering picked up assists. Goalie Bryce Dettweiler obtained a shutout, blocking all 25 shots throughout the match.
The Jacks have just six games remaining in the Provincial Junior Hockey League’s regular season, though none against the Travellers. With a record of 22-7-2-3, the team currently stands in third place in the South Doherty Division, its 49 points just three behind the New Hamburg Firebirds (52) and eight points behind the Tavistock Braves (57).
This weekend, the Jacks welcome the Ayr Centennials Saturday evening at 7:30 p.m. before heading out to Burford Sunday to take on the Bulldogs.