Photo credit: Dynamic Designs Special to The Standard
Local hockey fans were treated to another thrilling chapter in the Battle of North Durham in Uxbridge on Friday, Nov. 14, as the Port Perry MoJacks skated to a 3-2 shootout victory over the rival Bruins.
The game began with an energetic pace, with great scoring chances turned aside at both ends of the ice, as Bruins goalie Branden Francey and his Port Perry counterpart Blake Shaw made several sensational saves to keep the score knotted at 0-0 through 20 minutes of play.
The Bruins took the lead just over six minutes into the second period, when a clearing attempt ended up on the stick of Marco Mastrangelo, and he fired a wrist shot high past Shaw.
Just over three minutes later, Todd Winder made a strong impression in his season debut with his hometown club, after his release from the Junior ‘A’ Aurora Tigers when jammed a loose puck past Shaw to double the Bruins’ lead.
The Bruins appeared primed to take a 2-0 lead into the dressing room, but with just two seconds left in the middle frame, Graham Lamers tipped in a point shot from Liam Schweda to bring the MoJacks to within a goal heading into the third period.
Port Perry would tie the game near the mid-point of the third period when, after a near-miss on a breakaway moments earlier, Lamers circled back to the front of the net, and redirected a pass from Lucas Clark past Francey to equalize the game at 2-2.
Despite remarkable opportunities down the stretch for both sides, as has been the case in all three meetings between the North Durham rivals this season, the game would need extra time to determine a winner.
With a powerplay to open overtime, Uxbridge controlled the action in the early portion of the extra frame, but could not solve Shaw.
Then, with Uxbridge serving a penalty near the midway point of the overtime period, Francey would use every available inch of the net in denying a scoring chance by Konrad Piorkowski.
After 65 minutes of play, the teams remained tied, sending the game to a shootout. MoJacks captain Lucas Berkers would net the lone goal of the shootout to earn Port Perry a 3-2 comeback win, as for the third time this season, the visitor skated to victory in the Battle of North Durham.
Following the game, MoJacks Head Coach Clair Cornish noted that the team had risen to the occasion when it counted against their North Durham rivals.
“We showed good character tonight and were able to fight back after we regained our form in the second period, and later we were able to capitalize on a powerplay situation” Cornish told The Standard.
On Sunday, Nov. 16, the MoJacks were back in action at Scugog Arena, with the Lakefield Chiefs in town.
The Chiefs would jump out to a 2-0 lead, before a powerplay goal from Lamers. The MoJacks’ offence would take charge in the second period, as the home side outscored the Chiefs 6-1 in the middle frame to take a 7-3 lead.
Piorkowski netted a hat trick to go along with singles from Lucas Clark, Ryan Bernardes and a successful penalty shot from Kyle Schweda. Cole Murray scored the lone goal of the third to push Port Perry to an 8-3 victory, with Shaw turning aside 22 shots to pick up his league-leading ninth win of the season.
Meanwhile, the Bruins wrapped up their weekend with a trip to Bowmanville on Sunday, Nov. 16 to tangle with the Clarington Eagles.
The Bruins would feast on the Eagles en route to a 5-1 victory, with Branden Francey stopping 36 shots to earn the win between the pipes for Uxbridge.
An unassisted goal by Marco Mastrangelo opened the scoring almost 13 minutes into the action, and a pair of second period goals by Tyson Eastgate pushed the Bruins to a 3-0 lead through 40 minutes of play.
The Eagles would break up Francey’s shutout bid in the third, but powerplay goals from Winder and Connor Evans rounded out the scoring as Uxbridge rolled to victory.
With two goals in his first two games with the club, Uxbridge native Winder is blending in well with his hometown club, and was excited about the opportunity when speaking with The Standard.
“It’s good to be back, there are 10 other guys from Uxbridge, and I was able to play a few games with the Bruins last year so there’s some good chemistry here for sure,” Winder said. “Hopefully I’ll be able to bring some skill to the lineup, and contribute playmaking and goal scoring.”
As well, Bruins Head Coach Geoff Hodgkinson was excited about the skill set that the 5’11” 155 lb. forward brings to the team.
“Our offence seemed to have dried up a bit over the past three weeks, and it was nice to have Todd and Shane Smith in our lineup, because we’re looking for a spark,” Hodgkinson told The Standard. “It’s crucial to try and find depth in this league, and bringing these guys back may push good players down to the fourth line, but it should allow us to play our fourth line more.”
- The Bruins will be holding a Teddy Bear Toss Night on Friday, Dec. 12, when they take on the Georgina Ice. The Bruins are also currently collecting new, unwrapped toys in support of the Uxbridge Community Toy Drive.
- Look for the Bruins in the Uxbridge Santa Claus Parade on Saturday, Nov. 22, starting at 11 a.m.
- With a pair of goals over the weekend, Mastrangelo pushed his recent point streak to ten games, including goals in the past seven games played.
- This weekend, Port Perry looks to build on their seven-game winning streak when they travel to Apsley on Saturday, Nov. 22, for a 7:20 p.m. match-up against the North Kawartha Knights. On Sunday, Nov. 23, the MoJacks are back in action at Scugog Arena, when they take on the Little Britain Merchants at 2:25 p.m.
- The Bruins will be looking to melt the Georgina Ice in a weekend home-and-home. On Friday, Nov. 21, the two sides meet in Uxbridge at 7:45 p.m., and on Sunday, Nov. 23, will resume hostilities in Sutton at 3:20 p.m. Uxbridge wraps up a busy stretch on Tuesday, Nov. 25, travelling to Lakefield for a 7:30 p.m. encounter with the Chiefs.