The Port Perry MoJacks rebounded from their first loss of the COJHL season to score their second win of the season over the defending provincial champion Lakefield Chiefs this past weekend as they remain in sole possession of top spot in the COJHL standings through three weekends of action.
The MoJacks opened the weekend with a trip to Little Britain for the Merchants’ home opener on Saturday, Oct. 4.
Goals from Terry Snoddon and Hayden Long gave the Merchants a 2-0 lead midway through the second period when Liam Schweda netted an unassisted goal - the first career goal for the 17-year-old Port Perry native - to draw the MoJacks to within a goal.
However, the MoJacks were unable to sneak another puck past Merchant netminder Garrett Haden, losing by a final score of 2-1. The MoJacks’ scoring frustrations led to a parade to the penalty box as they were whistled for 13 minor penalties over the course of the evening, leading to one Merchants powerplay goal.
It was a quick turnaround for the team as they took to the ice at Scugog Arena just over 16 hours later to tangle with the Lakefield Chiefs in a matinee affair on Sunday, Oct. 5.
Goals from Kyle Powell and Konrad Piorkowski gave the MoJacks a 2-1 lead until Dayton Hill scored for Lakefield with just 27 seconds remaining in the first period.
The Chiefs would carry over the momentum from the late goal into the middle stanza as Lakefield scored just over a minute into the second period to tie the game 2-2.
Fantastic hustle from Kyle Schweda just over two minutes later would swing the pendulum back Port Perry’s way as he swiped a pass from Lakefield’s defencemen and tore in on goal. Although he was eventually forced wide of the goal, Schweda maintained position and curled around to beat the Lakefield goalie and restore the lead for the MoJacks.
A lead that would prove to be short-lived as Shawn Mackie scored from a sharp angle just over a minute later to once again tie the game.
The score would remain deadlocked into the third period due to several timely saves from MoJacks goalie Blake Shaw.
Goals from Jeff St. Pierre and Piorkowski pushed the MoJacks to a 5-3 lead less than five minutes into the third period.
The two sides would trade goals down the stretch with the MoJacks making masterful work of puck movement in the offensive zone as Lucas Clark netted his third goal of the season in a 6-5 victory for Port Perry.
Following the game, MoJacks Head Coach Clair Cornish noted that the team had played well following a frustrating evening the previous night.
“It speaks to having pride in our performance and bouncing back to give the 60-minute effort we needed to,” Cornish told The Standard. “We had to have heart coming back home after some tough breaks around the net on Saturday night that left us frustrated.”
The MoJacks were able to score the win against the Chiefs despite playing just over 16 hours prior on Saturday night and Cornish stressed the importance of discipline on making sure the team has the necessary conditioning. The MoJacks have six remaining back-to-backs this season, including this coming weekend, when they make their first-ever trip to Apsley on Saturday night to face-off with North Kawartha at 7:20 p.m., before returning home on Sunday for a match-up with Little Britain at 2:25 p.m.
“That part of the schedule is part of our players being disciplined and making the right choices to make sure they’re prepared to play,” said Cornish. “Every team is competitive and it’s going to be a tough league this season.”