Longtime sponsor Dave Jackson (centre) conducted the ceremonial faceoff between Port Perry MoJacks captain Lucas Berkers (right) and Brett Theissen of the Georgina Ice prior to the MoJacks’ 42nd home opener on Sunday, Sept. 22 at Scugog Arena. The MoJacks would go on to defeat the Ice by a score of 4-1, led by two goals from Kyle Schweda. Photo credit: Darryl Knight / The Standard.
DARRYL KNIGHT The Standard
The Port Perry MoJacks opened the 2014-15 COJHL season over the weekend with back-toback wins.
The MoJacks downed the defending provincial champion Lakefield Chiefs by a score of 2-0 in Ennismore on Saturday, Sept. 20, before defeating the Georgina Ice 4-1 at Scugog Arena the following afternoon.
Newcomer Blake Shaw made an outstanding first impression by stopping all 40 shots fired by the Chiefs on Saturday, as the Oshawa product earned a shutout in his first career junior hockey start.
Newly acquired Cole Murray netted the MoJacks’ first goal of the season, assisted be Jeff St. Pierre, just over eight minutes into the action, with Ryan Nichols sealing the win with an empty net goal.
The MoJacks would continue to roll on the afternoon of Sunday, Sept. 21, at Scugog Arena with the Georgina Ice looking to rebound after a 6-2 loss to Uxbridge on Friday night.
A ferocious forecheck led to some early scoring chances for Port Perry, but the Ice would battle back and force MoJacks netminder Jeff Julien to make several timely saves near the mid-point of the first period.
Kyle Schweda netted his first of the season when he finished off a tremendous passing play between Konrad Piorkowski and Kyle Powell with just over seven minutes remaining in the first period.
As the second period opened, Schweda wasted little time in netting his second goal of the game as he finished off a shorthanded rush by chipping the puck over the outstretched glove of Georgina goalie Vincenzo D’Elia. Just over eight minutes later, the Ice would cut the MoJacks’ lead to a single goal before Lucas Berkers restored the two-goal cushion less than a minute later with a blast from the point.
Just 21 seconds later, Cody Gibson pushed Port Perry’s lead to 4-1, forcing Georgina to make a change between the pipes. The teams would trade chances in the third period, but neither side would add any more tallies to the scoreboard as the MoJacks swept opening weekend in the COJHL.
Following the game, MoJacks Head Coach Clair Cornish complimented the team’s goaltending tandem for their outstanding play over the weekend, remarking that “they both played really well.” As well, Cornish explained that his charges had “played a simple game, staying within their abilities” in picking up back-to-back victories.
Port Perry native Kyle Schweda, who is joined on the Mojacks this season by younger brother Liam, explained how his game has grown as he enters his third season with the team.
“Experience changes everything, and I think I have a better knowledge of where I have to be on the ice, and seeing how the play sets up to put myself and my linemates into good situations,” Kyle told The Standard. As well, he noted the importance of conditioning as the team picked up wins less than 24 hours apart.
“Being in better shape is really important on these back-to-backs and Clair and the whole staff have been a great help in preparing for the season. They really know their stuff and are committed to making us better everyday.”
- The MoJacks swung a deal with the Clarington Eagles prior to the start of the regular season, shipping out Joe Lamanna and Brodie Myers in exchange for 17-year-old Oshawa native Cole Murray, who registered 10 points in 28 games last season with the Eagles.
“Cole is a skilled player that is going to be bale to step in and help us in a lot of ways,” Cornish said. - After heading to Uxbridge on Friday, Sept. 26 for a ‘Battle of North Durham’ against the rival Bruins at 7:45 p.m., the MoJacks will be back in action against the COJHL’s newest entry - the North Kawartha Knights - at Scugog Arena on Sunday, Sept. 28 at 2:25 p.m. The Knights drew over 400 fans to the first home game in franchise history in Apsley on Saturday night, falling by a score of 5-3 to Clarington.