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Lumberjacks win their home opener against the Merchants

DAN CEARNS The Standard

SCUGOG: The Port Perry Lumberjacks opened their 2023/2024 season with two strong performances, this past weekend, getting a win and a loss.

The junior hockey team’s first matchup of the regular season was against the Georgina Ice, in Keswick, on Saturday, September 16th.

Nearly 12 and a half minutes into the first period, the Ice would put the puck past goaltender Gavin Bradt, making it a 1-0 game. Then, with five minutes remaining on the clock, Parker Lemay scored Port Perry’s first goal of the season. The game was tied 1-1, after 20 minutes of play.

Georgina struck twice in the second period, putting the Lumberjacks behind 3-1. A power play goal early in the third period would secure the Ice’s victory over the Lumberjacks 4-1.

The Lumberjacks were able to give their home crowd something to cheer about though, on the afternoon of Sunday, September 17th, when they hosted the Little Britain Merchants at Scugog Arena.

After the new team was unveiled to the almost 300 fans in attendance, the Lumberjacks went right to work, holding a 9-0 shot advantage over the Merchants, through the first nine minutes. Within that timeframe, seven and a half minutes in, Cole Papageorgiou capitalized on a Lumberjacks power play, to make it a 1-0 game. The Lumberjacks controlled the pace of play through the rest of the period, with a shot advantage of 17-6.

Eight minutes into the second period, a Tanner Bricknell shot hit twine, extending the lead to 2-0. Exactly a minute after that goal, Mateo Guerrieri collected a Braedyn Vannetten rebound and deposited it into the net. This gave Port Perry a 3-0 lead. The Merchants would strike twice, later in the period though, but Port Perry held a 3-2 lead after 40 minutes of play.

Then, 12 minutes into the third period, Kyle Bailey deked the puck past the Little Britain netminder, making it a 4-2 game. Cameron Marshall added an empty net goal, late in the period, and the Lumberjacks got their first win of the season 5-2.

Recently acquired goaltender, Vann Kulba played his first game as a Lumberjack in that one, stopping 16 of the 18 shots he faced.

Ryan Connolly complimented his team, after getting his first win as the Lumberjacks’ head coach.

“It’s exciting. I’m super happy about it, and all the credit goes to these players. These guys have been working hard since training camp, and I’ve asked them to come to the rink every night prepared and ready to go to play a full 60 minutes. I can’t say enough about the effort these guys have been giving.”

One Timers:

The Lumberjacks also unveiled a, so far, unnamed mascot. The mascot is a young child with a green flannel jacket, beard and Lumberjack axe.

The Lumberjacks will continue their season this Sunday, September 24th, when they host the Clarington Eagles, at Scugog Arena. That game will begin at 2:25 p.m.

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