The Uxbridge Bruins surged into the COJHL’s holiday break atop the table following a 4-1 win over the Port Perry MoJacks in the latest round of the ‘Battle of North Durham’ which played out in Uxbridge, on Friday, Dec. 19.
The MoJacks came into the game with a three-games-to-one lead in the season series, and were looking for a clean sweep of the games played in Uxbridge. However, the Bruins had other plans in mind, and pressed the MoJacks early, with Shane Smith and Todd Winder combining for great scoring chances early.
With just under five minutes to play in the opening stanza, MoJacks goalie Blake Shaw made an acrobatic save on Marco Mastangelo, but the puck bounced to Tyson Eastgate in front of the net, and he flicked home the rebound to give the Bruins a 1-0 advantage.
Thomas Sheedy would double the Bruins’ lead with slightly less than two minutes remaining in the first, when his shot from the point found the back of the net, giving the Uxbridge resident his first career Junior ‘C’ goal, assisted by Connor Evans and Mastrangelo.
Port Perry would pick up the pace in the second period, but were continually stone-walled by strong goaltending from Uxbridge netminder Branden Francey, who made several sensational saves to keep the Bruins ahead 2-0 heading into the third period.
Less than two minutes into the third period, an unassisted blast from Daryl Thomson extended Uxbridge’s lead to three goals.
Nearing the mid-point of the third, the Bruins overwhelmed the Port Perry defence on a delayed penalty call, with great puck movement in the offensive zone, leading to Winder tipping in a shot from the point by Evans. Alex Siblock also drew an assist on the play.
Shortly afterwards, the MoJacks broke up Francey’s shutout bid on a bizarre series of events, as a shot from Jeff St. Pierre deflected off a defenceman’s shoulder pad and flipped high into the air, fooling Francey as it came to rest inside the Uxbridge net.
The MoJacks would have more scoring chances down the stretch, including excellent opportunities for Kyle Schweda and Kyle Powell, but were unable to convert, as the Bruins skated to a 4-1 victory.
“Everything has been building for us lately, and our guys are having a lot of fun and it’s showing on the ice,” Bruins captain Carter Vahey told The Standard following the game. “We knew that Port Perry was looking to sweep us in our building tonight, and we talked about it before the game. Everyone’s been accepting their roles really well, and tonight was a great team effort and shows how willing everyone is to buy in to what we’re trying to accomplish. It was great to give our fans a win heading into this holiday break, hopefully we can come back recharged and ready for the new year.”
- The Bruins were back in action on Tuesday, Dec. 30 (after the Standard’s press deadline) following a 11-day break for the holidays, as they took on the Little Britain Merchants in Uxbridge.
- The Bruins are back in action on home ice at 7:45 p.m., on Friday, Jan. 2, when they host the Lakefield Chiefs. On Saturday, Jan. 3, the Bruins hit the road for a 7:20 p.m. match-up against the North Kawartha Knights in Apsley.