The Port Perry MoJacks closed 2014 on a winning note, claiming victory in their final three games played to push themselves into the table’s top spot.
Following a 4-1 loss in Uxbridge on Friday, Dec. 19, the MoJacks rebounded with wins over Georgina, Little Britain and North Kawartha to close out the year on a three-game winning streak.
On Sunday, Dec. 21, the MoJacks rolled to a 7-4 win as they melted the Georgina Ice at Scugog Arena.
Kyle Schweda gave the MoJacks the lead with just over four minutes to play in the first period. Port Perry then lit the lamp four times in the second period, with Ryan Nichols netting a pair to go along with singles from Matt Doucette and Graham Lamers. The Ice would net a pair of their own in the second to make the score 5-2 heading into the third period.
Nichols completed his hat trick near the mid-point of the third, before a pair of Ice tallies cut the MoJacks’ lead to 6-4. However, an unassisted goal from Owen Bateman with just under two minutes to play sealed the win for Port Perry.
Following the holiday break, the MoJacks were back in action on Saturday, Dec. 27, as they trekked to Little Britain, looking to shoplift two points from the fifth-place Merchants.
Less than four minutes into the action, Doucette gave the MoJacks an early lead when his blast from the point slipped through a logjam of bodies to find the back of the net. The teams would trade scoring chances throughout the opening period, with an energetic and exciting pace to the action in the cozy confines of Little Britain Arena.
With just under a minute to play in the first period, Jeff St. Pierre scooped up a loose puck and powered down the wing before unleashing a hard shot that beat Merchants goalie Adam Harris to double Port Perry’s advantage on the scoreboard.
The Merchants would cut Port Perry’s lead to a single goal on a powerplay marker from Jesse Beers just over two minutes into the second period. However, less than a minute later, Schweda restored a two-goal lead for the MoJacks, assisted by Lamers and Konrad Piorkowski. Little Britain would press the MoJacks defensive corps, featuring forwards Powell and Cole Murray assuming new roles for much of the latter half of the period, but could not solve the solid goaltending of Jeff Julien.
Just 13 seconds into the third period, Terry Snoddon scored to draw Little Britain to within a goal, but with a defender draped all over him, Schweda scored his second of the game almost eight minutes into the third to restore a two-goal lead for Port Perry.
However, the Merchants refused to go quietly into the night, and almost four minutes later Kurtis Moore flicked home a wrist shot from just inside the blue line, assisted by Beers and Snoddon, to cut the MoJacks’ lead to 4-3. There would be tense moments down the stretch, but with 30 seconds left, and after hitting the post moments earlier, St. Pierre scored his second of the night into an open net to seal a 5-3 win for the MoJacks.
There was little time to celebrate for the MoJacks, as they hosted the North Kawartha Knights on the afternoon of Sunday, Dec. 28 before a crowd of almost 200 spectators at Scugog Arena.
The MoJacks did not disappoint their fans as they cruised to a 7-0 win, with Blake Shaw earning his second shutout of the campaign, and league-leading 13th victory of the season.
Another hat trick from Nichols gave the MoJacks a 3-0 lead through forty minutes of play.
In the third, Powell, Lucas Clark, Evan Wasylyk and Steve Sampson all lit the lamp to close out the win for the MoJacks. Clark had a strong return to the line-up, also netting two assists on the afternoon. As well, Todd McNair and St. Pierre both contributed a pair of assists to the winning effort for the MoJacks.
- Defenceman Liam Schweda continues to recover from an upper body injury, and informed The Standard on Saturday night that he is hopeful to be back in action this coming weekend.
- Port Perry Midget Predators captain Jesse Menzies spent the weekend patrolling the blue line for his hometown MoJacks, and the 17-year-old defenceman responded with a solid effort against the Knight after a first period ejection for checking for behind spoiled his Saturday night against Little Britain.
- The MoJacks have stocked up on salt as they start as busy weekend with an encounter with the Georgina Ice in Keswick at 7:30 p.m., on Friday, Dec. 2. On Sunday, Jan. 4, Port Perry renews hostilities with the Merchants at Scugog Arena, starting at 2:25 p.m. A busy stretch for the MoJacks wraps up on Tuesday, Jan. 6, with a trip to the shores of the Otonabee River for a 7:30 p.m. tilt in Lakefield against the Chiefs.