DAN CEARNS The Standard
SCUGOG: International hockey returned to North Durham last week, with a near capacity crowd on hand at Scugog Arena, to witness the TSO Canada-Germany Showcase pitting the Central Ontario Wolves ‘AAA’ Midgets against Jungadler Mannheim Screaming Eagles, the German junior national champions.
On Tuesday, January 22nd, the Wolves welcomed Mannheim to Port Perry for a second straight year. The Screaming Eagles were visiting Ontario as part of a prestigious tournament, at St. Andrew’s College in Aurora, and according to Wolves coach, Brad Bricknell had arranged the meeting with the Wolves last year, in an effort to “get a feel for typical Canadian, small-town hockey.”
Bricknell continued “The Mannheim team were really pleased with the game last year, and wanted to be part of this again, and we were happy to have them back and grateful to our community for showing such great support for this event.”
Both teams came into the game riding strong stretches of play. The Wolves haven’t lost on home ice since November, carrying a nine-game unbeaten streak. Meanwhile, Mannheim has only lost 4 games out of 27 played in the German junior league this year, and had scored an 8-7 victory over defending Ontario Junior ‘B’ champs, the Listowel Cyclones, earlier in the week.
The Wolves struck quickly in the Showcase, with Tommy Quick chipping in a loose puck over the Mannheim goalie’s outstretched blocker, less than 2 minutes into the game, to give the home side an early advantage.
The Screaming Eagles tied the game shortly afterwards. But, with just over a minute to play in the first period, Kieran Flynn scored putting the Wolves back in the lead, assisted by Johnathon Harrison and Colin Elliott.
Less than two minutes into the second period, Elliott put the Wolves ahead 3-1, when he stripped the puck from a Mannheim defender and stormed into the offensive zone all alone, scoring on a breakaway.
Near the midpoint of the second period, the Wolves displayed dazzling penalty killing, with several sensational saves by goalie Will Craig, keeping the Wolves ahead despite playing 5-on-3.
However, the Mannheim offense continued coming at the Wolves in waves, and at the end of the second period, the German side held a 4-3 lead.
The third period saw excellent action at both ends of the ice. However, the Wolves could not solve the Mannheim defense, as the Screaming Eagles skated to a 6-3 victory.
Following the game, Wolves team captain Alec Brown noted the team rallied around the big game atmosphere at Scugog Arena.
“Being part of this for the past two years, I can say that it was even better this time around. The atmosphere was louder and it was amazing to see so much support for our team,” Brown said. “We had a great chat in the dressing room before the game and wanted to come out with a lot of energy and take advantage of this great atmosphere. I feel like we were able to stay competitive, which is a huge achievement, considering the track record the Mannheim team has. Now, we’re just trying to keep that momentum going, to finish off the season, into our playoffs.”
The Wolves wrapped up the home portion of the ETA regular season, on Tuesday, January 29th, after The Standard’s press deadline, against Clarington, and will conclude the campaign on Saturday, February 9th, in Ajax against the Ajax-Pickering Raiders, before the ‘AAA’ playoffs get underway.
We reserve the right to remove any and all comments for any reason. Comments with swearing will be deleted without exception.