Christmas came early for the Applejacks, as the Burford Bulldogs were clearly in a giving mood Saturday night, opening their heart – or perhaps just their net – on route to a 10-0 Wellesley win.
The victory in the team’s sole game of the week saw the Jacks (16-4-1-4) remain in second place in the Provincial Junior Hockey League’s South Doherty Division, three points back of Tavistock. The Ayr Centennial are two points back in third spot with a record of 17-8-0-1.
Given Burford’s weak record – 4-23-1-1 – a win was perhaps to be expected, but the feasting on Bulldog replaced the traditional turkey.
Owen Lane drew first blood at 6:20, with Carson Wickie and Shaun Pickering picking up assists. Steven DeGroot (Connor Bradley, Lane) kept the momentum going at 12:16. Lane potted another goal at 16:40, with the floundering Bulldogs getting no chance to respond. The assist went to Daniel McCutcheon.
It was 3-0 after 20 minutes, the game essentially over, in retrospect.
The second stanza had a similar tone: Justin McCombs (Lane) continued the streak at 1:32. The Bulldogs got called for having too many men on the ice, which resulted in a two-minute penalty. Commisso took advantage of the resultant power play at 3:46, with DeGroot grabbing an assist. It was Commisso (Pickering) once again who scored the sixth goal.
Warren Gorman kept the ball rolling at 10:54; Lane and Keegan Saunders picked up assists. The score was 7-0 heading into the second intermission, though a rest did nothing for the Bulldogs, who saw their shot count drop again in the final frame: 10 in the first, five in the second, then just four.
Commisso completed his hat trick with a goal in the final frame at 6:30. Assists went to DeGroot and Bradley. Zachary Lyons (Zach Ribeiro, Bradley) kept up the heat at 8:36. Team captain Shaun Pickering scored the tenth and final goal of the match, with the assists going to Ribeiro and Lyons, with less than five minutes to go.
The lopsided score of 10-0 was reflected in the shot count, where Wellesley had the advantage 51-19. Netminder Duncan Rolleman picked up the shutout.
The Applejacks will look to keep up that momentum in a pair of home games this weekend. The first of two visitors is Delhi on Friday night, which bodes well for a win, as the Travellers have yet to taste victory this season, as seen in their 0-23 record. That match is followed by a visit from the New Hamburg Firebirds (10-11-3-2) on Saturday. Game time both nights is 8 p.m.