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.