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A win on the road for the Jacks

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You win some, you get snowed out of some. That may not be how the saying goes, but it was how the Wellesley Applejacks’ weekend went.

On the road last Friday night, the Jacks beat the Woodstock Navy Vets 2-0, but Mother Nature forced the postponement of the following night’s home game against Norwich.

The win kept the Jacks in their usual third-place spot in the Provincial Junior Hockey League’s South Doherty Division with 53 points, trailing seven behind the New Hamburg Firebirds and 10 points behind the division-leading Tavistock Braves.

Against the Woodstock Navy Vets January 18, the Jacks started strong, with James Ranson drawing first blood at 6:57, with an assist courtesy of Daniel Tsiampas. The Navy Vets would never get the chance to recover.

The second and only other goal scored through the course of the game went to Shaun Pickering at 8:06, with Danny Ranson and Alex Uttley picking up assists.

The 2-0 lead the Jacks took into the first intermission would hold up for another 40 minutes, the scoreboard unchanged when the final buzzer went.

The second stanza was uneventful where scoring was concerned, but there was a bit of roughhousing split evenly between both teams, with two penalties apiece dished out to the Jacks and the Navy Vets. The back-and-forth changed nothing, however, putting pressure on the home team to step up in the third.

Instead, there was little action of any kind until Woodstock pulled their goalie in an attempt to get on the board. The goose egg remained, however, despite the Vets outshooting the Jacks 38-26 by game’s end. Wellesley’s Bryce Dettweiler earned the shutout, stopping everything Woodstock threw his way. He needed to be particularly sharp in the first when the shots were 18-9 for the team that didn’t score two goals.

The win gave the Jacks momentum headed into Saturday’s scheduled game against the fifth-place Norwich Merchants back in the welcoming confines of the Wellesley arena. The ice-cold weather and snowfall had other plans, rendering the road conditions too risky for the Merchants to travel. The match was postponed, with the teams scheduled to meet again Wednesday night.

The Jacks have dominated the Merchants in previous matchups, with their last game in December resulting in an 8-2 win for the Jacks, and the game before that, a 4-1 win.

Their next two games – the last regularly scheduled ones of the season – will see the Jacks taking on the New Hamburg Firebirds at the Wilmot Arena on Friday (January 25), and against the Burford Bulldogs at the Wellesley arena the next day (Saturday). The puck drops at 7:30 p.m.

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