ROB STEELE The Standard
The Uxbridge Curling Club played host to the ever popular Mixed Uxspiel on Saturday. A total of sixteen teams entered, with teams coming from Annandale, East York, Tam Heather, Richmond Hill, Oshawa Golf, and Port Perry. Teams played two, eight-end games and were treated to a delicious lunch and dinner prepared by Pam Norton and all her many volunteers.
When all the points were tallied, Uxbridge Curling Club’s Brenda Elford skipped husband Rob Houston, Linda Whitmarsh, and Dan Whitmarsh to the overall championship. Oshawa Golf’s Jay Fischer called in Uxbridge super-spare Jane Hachey to play vice and ended up as the top team on the early draw. Other prize winners were Port Perry’s Willie Beaton, Uxbridge’s Barry Acton, Ray Matsunaga from Tam Heather, and Uxbridge’s Paul Roberts. Special thanks to draw master Larry Bertuzzi, and Service Master / Merry Maids and Baldwin Sales in Uxbridge for sponsoring the event.
Uxbridge residents Jim Bell and brother John Bell, with Bruce Jefferson at vice, and their Unionville based teams were curling in the Intermediate Regionals this weekend in Oshawa. Both teams won their first games, but unfortunately lost their next two matches, knocking them both out of the the double knock-out competition. Oshawa Golf’s Ray Balachorek won the A-side, while Dixie’s Bob Garvin won the B-side.
Port Perry’s Rachel Steele and her team skipped by Erin White, won their first game at Girls Bantam Regionals over the favoured Bobcaygeon foursome in Peterborough on the weekend. The team unfortunately lost their next two matches to more experienced teams from Bayview and Minden. The team was pleased with their accomplishments this season. Rachel was proud to receive her first zone patch and then confidently declared she won her first OCA patch before her father did… ouch. Rachel would like to thank True North Eavestroughing and Kevin Spohn State Farm Insurance for they support this season.
Local Curlers To
Compete In OCA Mixed
There are a total of ten teams set to do battle this weekend at Annandale OCA Senior Mixed zones competition. Port Perry’s Willie Beaton, Uxbridge’s Marg McKnight and Gary Grant are entered into the event. Teams are battling for two spots at Regionals in late March.
In BrokerLink OCA Mixed competition, nine teams are entered, including Uxbridge’s Rob Houston who will battle his mens teammate Spencer Townley who has also entered a team. However, Port Perry’s own Bruce Jefferson might have something to say about how things shape up.
Todd Winder scores in the shootout to lift the Uxbridge Bruins to the sixth straight win, as they downed the Little Britain Merchants by a score of 3-2, in Uxbridge, on Friday, Jan. 23. The Bruins will be back on home ice on Friday, Jan. 30, taking on Lakefield at 7:45 p.m. DYNAMIC DESIGNS Special to The Standard
The Uxbridge Bruins had to work overtime for it, but they earned their sixth straight win on Friday, Jan. 23, needing a shootout to score a 3-2 win over the visiting Little Britain Merchants. The tough tests will keep on coming for the Bruins, as they tangle with the league-leading Lakefield Chiefs in a home-and-home affair this week.
Patrick Bolahood wasted little time getting Uxbridge on the scoreboard, when his shot bounced into the Merchants’ net just over two minutes into the action, with Dylan Locke picking up the lone assist on the play.
Both teams had trouble controlling the puck in the early portion of the game, with plenty of strange bounces keeping both sides guessing throughout the opening period.
Nearing the midpoint of the second period, the Merchants caught a break, as a long shot from Curtis Lee bounced between Uxbridge netminder Branden Francey’s legs to equalize the match.
Uxbridge regained the lead when Jarett Smith corraled a pass from Marco Mastrangelo in front of the net to score a powerplay goal almost four minutes into the third period.
However, just over three minutes later, Kurtis Moore tied the game, and after spirited play from both sides down the stretch, and into overtime, the game headed to a shootout.
Todd Winder netted the lone goal of the shootout, as Francey turned aside all three Merchant attempts.
- To celebrate their recent International Silver Stick tournament championships, the Bruins honoured the members of the Uxbridge Stars Atom and Minor PeeWee teams on Friday night.
- The Bruins were in Lakefield on Tuesday, Jan. 27 (after The Standard’s press deadline).
- On Friday, Jan. 29, the Chiefs visit Uxbridge for a 7:45 p.m. tilt.
MoJacks defenceman Andrew Crichton (in white) is chased down by Nick Loyst during the annual charity game in support of the Port Perry Hospital Foundation, which took place at Scugog Arena, on Saturday, Jan. 24. An Alumni goal with just 15 seconds left gave the team their first win in the four-year history of the event, which has raised more than $20,000 for the local hospital. BENJAMIN PRIEBE The Standard
DARRYL KNIGHT The Standard
The Port Perry MoJacks had a humbling loss to an alumni team sandwiched around a pair of COJHL wins over an action-packed slate this weekend weekend.
For the first time in four years, the MoJacks were beaten by the alumni team from the Scugog Hockey League, dropping a 4-3 decision in the annual charity game in support of the Port Perry Hospital Foundation contested at Scugog Arena on Saturday, Jan. 24.
With the Alumni leading 3-2 after forty minutes of play, the current MoJacks tied the game early in the third period, only to have John Werry net the game winning goal with just 15 seconds remaining.
“We learned a lot,” MoJacks Head Coach Clair Cornish told The Standard. “They couldn’t skate with us, but they outsmarted us all night long. We couldn’t win face-offs, they made it really difficult to get to the front of the net, and they got great play from their goalies.”
Plans are already in the works to bring the popular event back next season. This year, the game raised almost $6,000, bringing the four-year total for money raised in support of the local hospital to well over $20,000.
“This is just fantastic. To see this kind of support from the community makes it all worthwhile and leads us to believe we will be doing this game as long as we get this kind of support. And, with the money going to a very worthwhile cause in the hospital makes it all the more special,” said organizer Stephen Connors.
Meanwhile, the MoJacks continue to find themselves in third place in the increasingly crowded COJHL table, one point behind second-place Uxbridge and two points ahead of the Clarington Eagles.
The MoJacks’ weekend got off to a blazing start as they rolled to a 9-5 victory over the Georgina Ice in Keswick on Friday, Jan. 23.
The Ice would take a 3-2 lead through the first period, with Brett Theissen and Jeff St. Pierre scoring for Port Perry, and early goals from Graham Lamers and Ryan Nichols allowed the MoJacks to wrestle away the lead in the second period.
The teams would trade goals throughout the remainder of the middle frame, with Kyle Powell and Theissen lighting the lamp, giving the MoJacks a 6-5 lead after 40 minutes. The third period gave the MoJacks the space to pull away from the Ice, with goals from Ryan Bernardes, Lamers and Lucas Clark rounding out the scoring.
On Sunday, Jan. 25, the MoJacks hit the ice at Scugog Arena for their third game in three days, as they looked to take down the North Kawartha Knights.
Evan Wasylyk gave the MoJacks the lead less than five minutes into the action, but the Knights would waste little time equalizing the match.
However, from there the game belonged to Port Perry as they reeled off five consecutive goals en route to a 6-1 win. Stevie Sampson, Cole Murray, Matt Doucette, Lamers and Nichols all scored for the MoJacks.
“We had a good practice this week, with more intensity on our special teams which translated this weekend,” explained Cornish.
This is shaping up to be a pivotal weekend for the MoJacks, as they face a home-and-home encounter with the Clarington Eagles. On Friday, Jan. 30, they square off in Bowmanville at 8:20 p.m., before resuming hostilities in Port Perry, at 2:25 p.m., on Sunday, Feb. 1.
“This could be it if a team can manage to take four points this weekend,” added Cornish. “To me, this is our first real test heading into the playoffs. It’ll be a real character test for us, and I’m looking forward to seeing how we respond.
- With goalie Blake Shaw sidelined with a lower-body injury, the MoJacks have signed Cody Northover. The Uxbridge product appeared in 23 games with the Bruins during the 2013-14 season, compiling a record of 13-7-2. In 2012, he helped lead the Uxbridge S.S. Tigers to a LOSSA championship, and a fourth-place showing at OFSAA.
However, Cornish noted that veteran netminder Jeff Julien will be counted on to take on an increased role, a task Cornish feels he is more than capable of performing.
“Cody is a nice insurance policy to have, and is a guy capable of performing in this league,” Cornish said. “But, right now, this is Jeff’s ball to run with, and he’s played in, and won a lot of big games for us over the past three seasons.”
ROB STEELE The Standard
The annual Herrington’s Quality Butcher’s Mixed Bonspiel was held at the Port Perry Curling Club this past weekend. A total of sixteen teams participated in the event with seven of those teams from out of town. The top team from the early draw was Port Perry’s Doug Rowe, Susan Duivesteyn, Allison Rowe, and Peter Duivesteyn with three wins and a total of 48 1/2 points. Port Perry’s Don Beaton, Dennis Symes, and Glenn Evans rounded out early draw list of winners.
On the late draw, Shona Fitzgerald from Scarboro Golf and Country Club was the high game winner with a total of 53 3/4 points. Bill Buffey and Terry Eastman from Annandale finished tied for second while Uxbridge’s Doug Tessier finished in fourth.
A great time was had by all participants. Special thanks go out to Peter and Susan Duivesteyn for coordinating the event and Brent Herrington from Herrington’s Quality Butchers.
Rachel Steele Off to
Okay, a proud parent moment here, but congratulations to Rachel Steele and her Annandale-based bantam girls curling team, skipped by Erin White, for earning their first team OCA patch on Sunday. After losing the A-Final in the last end, the team rebounded by winning the B-Side of the Bantam Girls Zones with a 10-2 victory over Melanie Jefferson from Oshawa. The event was held at the West Northumberland Curling Club in Cobourg. Rachel is a Grade Eight student at R.H. Cornish Public School and will now compete at the Bantam Girls Regionals in Peterborough this weekend.
Local Curlers to
Uxbridge's Jim Bell and Gary Grant skipped their respective teams to Senior Provincial berths at the Glencoe Curling Club, from Feb. 18 to 22. Gary Grant and his Lindsay based team won all three games at Regionals. Gary’s team of Terry Jenkins, brother Randy Grant, and Dave Farr beat Annandale’s David Walker 7-3 in their first game and then beat Leaside’s Rob Harling 5-3. In the A-Final against St.George’s Hugh McCarrel, Grant was down 4-2 in the last end but scored three for the win.
Jim Bell’s Unionville team took a little longer path to earn their spot at Provincials. The team opened with an exciting extra-end victory over Bobcaygeon’s Wayne Shea but a loss to McCarrel dropped them to the B-Side of the event. On Sunday, it was a new day and the team came out firing on all cylinders with a 5-2 victory over Wayne Martin from Oakville and then 7-1 over Harling. In the B-Final against McCarrel, the team needed to dig deep for their win taking two in the seventh to tie the score and then stole the single in the final end for the win. Congratulations to both teams and best of luck to you at the Provincials!
Port Perry’s Carol Jackson, competing as the vice for Suzanne Frick-Thalman’s Guelph rink, was also competing at Senior Regionals. The team went two and two on the weekend with their second loss unfortunately coming in the B semi-final against Milton’s Brenda Nix.
DARRYL KNIGHT The Standard
The Port Perry MoJacks of past and present will be squaring off this weekend in support of the Port Perry Hospital Foundation.
The fourth annual charity game between the current MoJacks and an alumni team drawn from the Scugog Hockey League is set for 7 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 24, at Scugog Arena.
Over the past three years, the game has raised more than $15,000 for the local hospital foundation and organizer Stephen Connors, himself a former MoJack, told The Standard that he’s pleased that the game has grown to be an important fundraiser for the hospital.
“We really need to ensure that Port Perry hospital stays active to continue serving this great community and we’re looking forward to the many generous people who help our fundraising efforts to come out and support this great event. We want to see it get bigger and better every year. Everybody wins that way.”
Admission to the game is $5 for adults, with kids under 12 admitted for free. To make a donation to the event, please contact email@example.com or 905-440-0844.
The charity game is just one part of the MoJacks’ weekend, as they are still in the thick of an exciting playoff race, tied with the Clarington Eagles for third place in the standings with the current COJHL season winding to a close.
This past weekend, the MoJacks earned a split, skating to a 6-3 win over the North Kawartha Knight in Apsley on Saturday, Jan. 17, before being humbled at home 7-3 by the rival Uxbridge Bruins the following afternoon, in the latest round of the Battle of North Durham.
On Saturday night, the MoJacks held a 3-2 lead through two periods of play behind goals from Graham Lamers, Andrew Crichton and Kyle Powell. Port Perry would run away with the game in the third period, with Kyle Schweda, Powell and Todd McNair all lighting the lamp.
The following afternoon against Uxbridge saw Lucas Clark net a pair of shorthanded goals, and a powerplay marker from Lamers.
- The charity game is part of a busy weekend for the MoJacks. On Friday, Jan. 23, they hit the road for a 7:30 p.m. tilt against the Georgina Ice. And, on Sunday, Jan. 25, return home to tangle with North Kawartha at 2:25 p.m.
DARRYL KNIGHT The Standard
A pair of pivotal weekend wins for the Uxbridge Bruins gave the team a small bit of breathing room in the COJHL standings.
After soaring over the Clarington Eagles by a score of 5-2 in Uxbridge on Friday, Jan. 16, the Bruins scored four shorthanded goals against the rival Port Perry MoJacks as they skated to a 7-3 victory in the latest round of the Battle of North Durham, at Scugog Arena on Sunday, Jan. 18.
Uxbridge entered the weekend in second place in the COJHL table, just one point ahead of both the Eagles and MoJacks, giving both games a playoff-like atmosphere.
On Friday night, unassisted first period goals from Korey Brand and Rob Freckelton gave the Bruins a 2-0 advantage at the end of the first period. However, the Eagles would take advantage of some penalty trouble for the Bruins as they tied the game up early in the second period.
With the Bruins on the powerplay with just four minutes remaining in the second period, a shot from ‘Magic’ Mike Spataro hit the post and bounced to Marco Mastrangelo, who tucked the rebound past Eagles goalie Connor Visca. With just six seconds left in the second, the Bruins went ahead by a score of 4-2 behind a powerplay goal from Connor Evans, assisted by Spataro.
In the third period, Mastrangelo’s second of the night would round out the scoring, with Branden Francey picking up the win in net.
On Sunday, the Bruins sought their fifth consecutive win as they squared off against the arch rival MoJacks in Port Perry.
Uxbridge wasted little time building an early lead, with Aiden Reilly scoring just over a minute into the action. Although Uxbridge would dominate the action for much of the opening 20 minutes, the teams retired to their dressing rooms tied after MoJacks forward Lucas Clark netted a shorthanded goal off an offensive zone face-off with just over a minute left on the clock.
A point shot from Jason Simmonds restored Uxbridge’s lead just over two minutes into the second period. Five minutes afterwards, the dam broke for the Mojacks, and the Bruins netted four shorthanded goals in a two-and-a-half minute stretch to take a 6-1 stranglehold on the match.
Tyson Eastgate, Mastrangelo and Brand all netted goals with Uxbridge down a skater, before Todd Winder delivered the knockout blow when he picked the puck up in front of the MoJacks bench and skated untouched to the other end of the ice, with such poise and grace that he wouldn’t have looked out of place wearing a tuxedo, instead of killing a penalty against a team chasing a top-three playoff spot.
An unassisted marker from Patrick Bolahood with just over four minutes to play in the second swelled Uxbridge’s lead to six goals, before a powerplay goal from Graham Lamers made the score 7-2 in favour of the Bruins after 40 minutes.
Clark scored his second shorthanded goal on a phenomenal individual effort with Port Perry down two skaters with just 33 seconds left in the match, as the Bruins cruised to a 7-3 win, with Francey stopping 20 shots, picking up his league-leading 16th win of the season.
In his first full weekend back with the Bruins after being dealt from the Junior ‘A’ Lindsay Muskies, Spataro netted two assists in both games while also helping to solidify the Bruins’ blue line.
“I love being back, to me Uxbridge is a second home, and I’ve been welcomed back with open arms,” Spataro told The Standard. “This town deserves a winner, and my only goal for this is to win a championship, and you can’t take anyone in this league too lightly, but I think this is the team to get us there.”
- This weekend, the Bruins will take on the Little Britain Merchants in Uxbridge at 7:45 p.m., on Friday, Jan. 23, before hitting the road to the shores of the Otonabee River for a 7:30 p.m. tilt against the Lakefield Chiefs on Tuesday, Jan. 27.
Special to The Standard
The Port Perry Curling Club Tuesday Night Ladies league hosted their annual bonspiel this past weekend. Fourteen teams, including six from out-of-town, descended on the club to participate in the event. With memories of a last summer’s disappointing weather fresh on their minds, the ladies decided to go with the “Summer We Never Had” theme to help warm everyone up during this cold month of January.
Teams played two eight-end games, were treated to continental breakfast and lunch, and when all the points were tallied, it was Port Perry’s Louise Haugen, Wilma Muhic, Maggie Van Camp, and Wilma Oosterholt who took home top prize. A great time was had by all teams with prizes also being awarded for top themed costumes.
Special thanks to sponsors Port Perry Auto Glass, South Scugog Auto Sales, and Cathy Tune Chartered Accountant.
Jim Bell Wins Zones
The Uxbridge Curling Club hosted the Intermediate zones last weekend. Uxbridge resident Jim Bell took his Unionville squad to yet another regional by winning both his games on Saturday. Jim beat brother John in his first game, and then cruised to a victory over Port Perry’s Don Beaton. That put Bell in the A-final against Oshawa Golf’s Ray Balachorek. However, given three regional spots were being given to zone six, both teams qualified for regionals and no A-final was required. Unionville’s John Bell, with Uxbridge’s Bruce Jefferson at vice, also qualified for regionals through the B-Side. Regionals will be held at the Oshawa Curling Club on Saturday, Jan. 24.
Super League Starts Divisional Play
The first schedule of the Deloitte Super League concluded last Thursday with final divisional implications on the line. With the potential of five teams sitting “on the bubble”, last week’s results had significant divisional impact. With his last stone in the extra end, Kennedy Renovations skip Bill Kennedy called, and made an amazing in-off takeout to remove the Last Rock Curling counter siting on the button buried behind numerous guards for the win. The victory put Kennedy in the A-Division and meant that HUB International, hoping for a Kennedy loss, would be in the B-Division. Allen’s Siding (Mark St. John) and Lindsay KIA (Kelly Evans) unfortunately didn’t get the victories they needed, so find themselves positioned in the bottom six.
The top of the COJHL standings got even more crowded last week, as the Port Perry MoJacks dropped a pair of games to fall into third place in the table, with just three points separating the league’s top four teams.
The MoJacks week began with a short-staffed squad hitting the road for a match-up in Lakefield against the Chiefs, on Tuesday, Jan. 6.
After falling behind by a score of 1-0 through the first period, a powerplay goal from Jeff St. Pierre tied the game less than three minutes into the second period. Later, the Chiefs would retake the lead, only to have Graham Lamers knot the game up with just over a minute to play in the middle stanza.
A powerplay goal by the Chiefs almost four minutes into the third period proved to be the winner, as Lakefield prevailed by a final score of 3-2 to claim sole possession of first place in the COJHL table.
On Sunday, Jan. 11, the MoJacks were back on the ice as they looked to ruffle the feathers of the Clarington Eagles at Scugog Arena. There was a raucous atmosphere in the building for the game, which was a physical affair throughout.
Just over a minute into the second period, the Eagles opened the scoring with a powerplay goal, although shortly afterwards, the MoJacks would rebound and press feverishly for an equalizer, but were unable to capitalize on their scoring chances.
With just over seven minutes to play in the second, MoJacks goalie Blake Shaw made a tremendous pad save on a penalty shot by former MoJack Brodie Myers as the lanky forward ran out of room on his attempt, stuffing the puck into Shaw’s outstretched pad.
However, a pair of long shots from the Eagles would find the back of the net before the end of the second period, allowing the Eagles to soar to a 3-0 advantage through 40 minutes of play.
Liam Schweda drew the MoJacks to within two goals almost seven minutes into the third period, when his point shot blasted past Eagles goalie Connor Visca, with Ryan Bernardes assisting on the powerplay goal.
There was a frantic pace to the action down the stretch, as the MoJacks continued trying to claw their way back into the game, only to be held back by the Eagles, who would hold on to take a 3-1 victory.
Following the game, MoJacks Head Coach Clair Cornish noted that his team hadn’t been able to match the Eagles in some key areas of the game.
“Clarington played a smarter game than us today,” Cornish told The Standard. “I give credit to them, they came in here and played a good road game. Our special teams needed to be better, and we’ll work on that.”
As well, Cornish praised the work of Shaw, who was sensational at times, turning aside 24 of the 27 shots he faced.
“Blake plays well every time, and he gives us a chance to win every time, which is all you can ask of your goalie,” said Cornish.
- The MoJacks swung one trade on the Jan. 10 trade deadline for the COJHL, bringing in former Georgina Ice captain Brett Theissen. At the time of the trade, the 18-year-old Aurora product was leading the Ice in scoring, with 30 points (12 goals and 18 assists) in 31 games played, he made his MoJacks debut on Sunday against the Eagles.
“We’re pleased to be able to bring in a player of Brett’s ability,” Cornish said. “He can skate well, and has good instincts in the offensive zone, making some nice plays with the puck. He’s eager to advance to the next level, and we’re happy to have him here as we head towards the playoffs.”
- A crowd of more than 200 took in Sunday’s game at Scugog Arena, with the MoJacks hosting their first-ever ‘Brock Minor Hockey Day.’
- This weekend, the MoJacks will make their final trip of the season to Apsley on Saturday, Jan. 17, for a 7:20 p.m. tilt with the North Kawartha Knights.
- On Sunday, Jan. 18, Port Perry hosts the latest round in ‘The Battle of North Durham’ with the Uxbridge Bruins visiting Scugog Arena for a 2:25 p.m. grudge match.
Special to The Standard
In the Tyke Division this past weekend, W.O. Insurance beat Canadian Tire 5-1, with goals from Oscian Seguin (4) and David Macinnes. Canadian Tire’s goal was popped in by Brendan Potter.
Race Trac faced off against Shagg’s and won 5-1. Ryan Vernon (4) and Matthew Vandervoort scored for Race Trac, and Jimmy Lee scored the solo goal for Shagg’s.
In the Novice Division Krown Rust took ChrisMcAuley.ca by a score of 3-2. Krown Rust’s goals were from Kailyn Seguin, Matthew Seeney and Owen Chailoskyl. ChrisMcAuley.ca had goals by Adam Goble and Griffin McAuley.
J.F. Construction beat Make-A-Wish 11-5, with Brandon Parrott (5), Derek Radtke (3), Isabella O’Donoghue (2) and Adam Davies scoring for J.F.Construction. Make-A-Wish had goals by Ian Barkey (2), Cameron Cuzzilla, Nicolas Savor and Oscian Seguin.
In the Atom Division Low & Low beat Eco Water 6-2. Low & Low’s goals were by Zeke Bailey (3), Connor Rogers (2) and Aidan Lazure. Eco Water’s goals were by Aaron Waters and Brett Hanley.
Port Perry Dental won against Buck’s Construx 4-2. Port Perry Dental’s goals were by Daymond Clark (2), Cole Stephens and Jacob Buchanan. Buck’s Construx goals were by Lucas Braband and Eric Byers.
The game was all tied up 6-6 for Urban Landscape and Practicar in the Peewee/Bantam Division. Scoring for Urban Landscape were Kadin Martin (4), Carson Nozdryn, and Owen Seguin. Practicar’s goals were scored by Robbie Boadway (3), Tye Crouter, Jesse Gaudet and Karrah Mulligan.
Cochrane Tree Service beat Red Ribbon Restaurant 3-1. Cameron Barkey (2) and Hunter Scarlett scored for Cochrane Tree Service, with Jacob Buchanan scoring for Red Ribbon.
Omnific Design won against Denault 9-6 in the Midget Division behind goals from Eric Kerr (6), Jacob Lee (2) and Kain McIver. Denault’s goals were from Michael Grieve (4) and Taryn Duivesteyn (2) with an assist by Grieve as well.
Rounding out the action over the weekend, Luchka Float Service shut out All Flags Shell 7-0, with scoring from Sean Ashby (3), Benjamin Partington (3) and Clay Larmer.
DARRYL KNIGHT The Standard
The Uxbirdge Bruins posted a pair of weekend wins to move into second place in the COJHL standings, as the league moves into its final month of the regular season.
On Friday, Jan. 9, the Bruins played host to the North Kawartha Knights. looking to make it back-to-back wins over the expansion entry to the league, after posting a 3-1 win in Apsley the previous Saturday.
Tyson Eastgate opened the scoring with a powerplay goal almost eight minutes into the action. However, just 35 seconds later, the Knights struck back to equalize the game 1-1. Following the goal, Bruins netminder Jake Joosten withdrew from the game due to illness, as Branden Francey took over between the pipes.
Rob Freckelton restored Uxbridge’s lead with his sixth goal of the season with just over three minutes to play in the first period.
The Bruins’ offence continued to roll in the second period, as they opened a 4-1 lead on the Knights behind goals from Eastgate and Patrick Bolahood.
Although North Kawartha would sneak one puck past Francey in the third period, Uxbridge continued to dominate, with Connor Evans, Adam Bartholomew, Alex Williamson and Carter Vahey all lighting the lamp as Uxbridge rolled to an 8-2 victory.
The Bruins looked to keep the momentum going the following night as they travelled to Little Britain to square off against the Merchants.
Francey was busy throughout the first 20 minutes, stopping all 16 shots fired his way by the Merchants. Almost three minutes into the second period, Marco Mastrangelo opened the scoring, with Eastgate chipping in the lone assist.
However, less than two minutes later, Kurtis Moore netted the equalizer, scoring a shorthanded goal, assisted by Terry Snoddon.
Earlier in the day, the Bruins bolstered their defensive corps by reacquiring ‘Magic’ Mike Spataro, who had spent the past two seasons with the Tier II Junior ‘A’ Lindsay Muskies. The Pickering native and former captain of the Muskies made an immediate impact, as he scored the go-ahead goal with just over five minutes to play in the second period. Just 27 seconds later, Dylan Locke netted an unassisted tally to swell Uxbridge’s lead to 3-1 after 40 minutes of play.
The Merchants refused to have two points shoplifted from them quietly, and pressured the Bruins throughout the third period, and with just over three minutes to play, former Bruin and Uxbridge resident Mackenzie Smith scored to bring Little Britain to within a goal. However, that would be as close as the home side would get, as Locke fired his second of the evening into an empty net to seal a 4-2 victory, with Eastgate adding his third assist of the match.
With a daunting stretch ahead of them in the coming weeks with several games against the top sides in the COJHL, Bruins bench boss Geoff Hodgkinson is confident his team can continue their recent run of success as they challenge for a high ranking in the playoffs.
“I feel like, over our past 10 games that we’ve been hitting what we have been striving for since day one. With 10 games left, I think it’ll continue to show,” Hodgkinson told The Standard. “It comes down to being prepared mentally and physically to challenge the top teams, and if we can dig deep and win a majority of our games down the stretch, there’s no reason we can’t be in the fight for first place.”
- In addition to Spataro, the Bruins also added forward Ryan Miehm from North Kawartha ahead of the Jan. 10 trade deadline in the COJHL. Through 26 games with the Knights, the 17-year-old Courtice product tallied two goals and five assists.
“With the end of the season coming up, we wanted to make a move to add some depth and give us another option up front. Ryan’s skillful and smart with the puck and should be able to help us right away,” Hodgkinson said.
- This weekend, the Clarington Eagles soar into Uxbridge for a 7:45 p.m. match-up on Friday, Jan. 16.
- On Sunday, Jan. 18, the Bruins trek east on Reach St. for the latest ‘Battle of North Durham’ as they take on the Port Perry MoJacks at Scugog Arena, starting at 2:25 p.m.