The Port Perry MoJacks channeled their inner Taylor Swift over the weekend, shaking off a recent three-game losing streak with a 3-1 win over the Lakefield Chiefs on Sunday, Dec. 14.
Although the MoJacks would concede an early goal, putting them behind 1-0 less than two minutes into the contest, they quickly survived a strong push from Lakefield, behind timely saves by goalie Blake Shaw, and sound defensive zone coverage from Andrew Crichton, Owen Bateman and Eric MacDonald.
Tood McNair, Ryan Nichols and Jeff St. Pierre were all buzzing in the offensive zone midway through the first, as they frustrated the Chiefs’ defensive corps with punishing physical play.
With just under four minutes to play in the first, Kyle Schweda chipped the puck ahead to Konrad Piorkowski, sending him in on a breakaway, and after a fabulous deke, he beat Wainman low to knot the game, and send donations of winter clothing flying from the stands at Scugog Arena, as part of the MoJacks’ annual ‘Wooly Toss’ in support of Operation Scugog. Seconds later, Piorkowski nearly struck again, but his shot was deflected wide and after twenty minutes, the score sat equal at 1-1.
The second period featured even more dazzling play between the pipes from Shaw, including a sensational pad save on a shorthanded two-on-none scoring chance by the Chiefs.
The MoJacks were able to grab the lead just over a minute into the third period, when Poiorkowski tipped a point shot by Bateman into the Lakefield net, with Graham Lamers also assisting on the play.
Just 39 seconds later, Piorkowski was hauled down on a shorthanded breakaway, and he converted the ensuing penalty shot to put Port Perry ahead by a score of 3-1.
Shaw remained sharp down the stretch, surviving several scoring chances by Lakefield to earn the 18-year-old Brooklin native his 11th victory of the campaign as he turned aside 27 of the 28 shots fired his way during the match.
Following the game, MoJacks Head Coach offered praise to Piorkowski and Shaw for the impressive performances.
“Konrad stepped up and played in a different role than normal this afternoon and produced a good 200-foot game. And Blake was really sharp in net, making some great saves - especially in the second period - that put us in a good position to grab these two points. That’s what you need in this league, is for your top guys to be your top guys and we definitely had that today,” Cornish told The Standard.
On Friday, Dec. 12, the MoJacks’ weekend got off to a sluggish start as they dropped a 5-3 decision to the Clarington Eagles in Bowmanville.
After falling behind 1-0, the MoJacks would take a 2-1 lead in the second period behind goals from Evan Wasylyk and Lucas Clark, with St. Pierre, Schweda and Lamers earning assists. However, a late second period goal from Brodie Myers would equalize the match 2-2 heading into the third period.
Three goals for the Eagles would dig a hole the MoJacks could not claw their way out of, with a late unassisted powerplay goal from Schweda rounding out the scoring.
- On Friday, Dec. 19, the Battle of North Durham resumes with the MoJacks making their final appearance of the regular season in Uxbridge, as they tangle with the rival Bruins at 7:45 p.m. Currently, Port Perry holds a 3-1 advantage in the season series.
- The MoJacks will be without the services of fan favourite Lucas Clark for Friday night’s game in Uxbridge, after the 17-year-old forward was whistled for a misconduct penalty involving squirting an opponent with a water bottle on Friday night, resulting in a two-game suspension.
- Defenceman Liam Schweda continues to recover from an upper body injury, and is hopeful to return to the MoJacks’ lineup in the new year.
- Sunday afternoon, the MoJacks will be holding their annual Family Christmas game, with several prizes available for those in attendance when they take on the Georgina Ice at Scugog Arena, with the action getting underway at 2:25 p.m.
- Following the holiday break, the MoJacks will be back in action on Saturday, Dec. 27, when they travel to Little Britain in the hopes of closing down the Merchants in a 7:30 p.m. tilt.
- On Sunday, Dec. 28, at 2:25 p.m., the MoJacks will host the North Kawartha Knights at Scugog Arena.