Special to The Standard
UXBRIDGE: A very successful weekend off-the-ice for the Uxbridge Bruins saw the team earn a split in their on-ice action, as they rebounded from a home ice loss to the North Kawartha Knights to score a road win over the Little Britain Merchants.
Sitting firmly in fifth place in the Provincial Junior Hockey League’s Orr Division, the Bruins hosted their annual Teddy Bear Toss in support of the Uxbridge Toy Drive, when the Knights visited the Bear Den on Friday night.
With the Knights leading 1-0 late in the first period, and the Bruins on the powerplay, Aiden Reilly slammed in a rebound, to open the scoring for Uxbridge, assisted by Damien Heinle and Ryan Dunlop, and to send a steady stream of stuffed animals raining down from the crowd. The team would collect more than 100 stuffed animals in support of the Toy Drive, all of which will remain in the community, to be distributed to local families during this holiday season.
The Bruins couldn’t carry over the positive momentum into the second period, however, as the Knights reeled off three consecutive goals to open up a 4-1 lead. Adam Bartholomew brought Uxbridge back to within two, after a powerplay goal with just over five minutes remaining in the middle frame, with Jack Schnauzer and Alex Siblock picking up assists on the play.
Uxbridge would battle throughout the third period, but were unable to draw any closer. A North Kawartha goal, into an empty net in the final minute, rounded out the scoring in the Knights’ 5-2 victory, as they increased their advantage over the Bruins in the standings.
On Sunday night, the Bruins put some space between themselves and the sixth-place Little Britain Merchants, when they made the trek to ‘The Sports Capital of the Kawarthas’, for a rare Sunday night match-up against the Shopkeepers, winning a high-scoring affair by a final tally of 8-6.
The Merchants lead 2-1 after 20 minutes of play, behind goals from Jesse Craig and Nick Thomakos, with Reilly replying for Uxbridge. The offensive output for both sides ratcheted up in the second period, combining for six goals, as Uxbridge took a 5-4 lead into the dressing room, ahead of the third period. Coby Gardner tied the game eight minutes into the action, with Thomakos restoring the Merchants’ lead just over five minutes later. That lead to a four-goal flurry over the next four minutes, as Siblock, Nick Sribny and Jason Simmonds all scored powerplay goals for the Bruins, with Ryan Shaw netting the lone Little Britain marker.
The teams continued to trade goals in the final frame, as Heinle opened up a two-goal lead for Uxbridge just over three minutes into the third, but the Merchants would bounce back shortly afterwards, after a Nate Watson shorthanded goal, once again, drew the home side to within one.
In a frantic finish to the contest, in the final minute action, empty net goals for Uxbridge, by Wes Cowie and Liam Timewell, were sandwiched around a power play strike, by Aidan Renouf for the Merchants, as the Bruins clawed their way to an 8-6 victory.
- The Bruins continued their rebuilding efforts around local players last week, when they brought Alex Siblock and Wes Cowie back into the fold, joining Simmonds and Affiliated Player Carson Bell as recent additions, with roots in the Uxbridge Stars minor hockey program.
- At their next two home games, Dec. 9th and 16th, the Bruins will continue their efforts, collecting new unwrapped toys for the Uxbridge Toy Drive. For further information on the effort, please visit www.uxbridgetoydrive.com.
- The Bruins have a busy slate in the week ahead. They host the Georgina Ice, for a 7:45 p.m. match-up at the Bear Den on Friday, Dec. 9th. Then, the following night, they travel to Apsley to duel with the North Kawartha Knights. On Tuesday night, the Bruins are back on the road, heading to the banks of the Otonabee River for a tilt with the Lakefield Chiefs.