DAN CEARNS The Standard
SCUGOG: The Port Perry MoJacks have advanced to the Orr division semifinals, where they will face the Uxbridge Bruins, after defeating the Clarington Eagles, in a best of three playoff series two games to one.
Port Perry opened the series in Clarington, at the Garnet B. Rickard complex, on Thursday, February 14th.
The Eagles drew first blood in that game, with a goal about eight and half minutes into the first period. But, with less than six minutes left on the clock, Jeff Gauld scored, tying the game 1-1. A little over a minute later, Gauld put a wrist shot on net, beating Clarington’s goalie for his second goal of the game. 47 seconds after that, Carter Thornton scored, on what appeared to be just a clearing attempt, as the shot was made from behind the blueline and did not have a lot of power on it, and Port Perry took a 3-1 lead into the intermission.
A little over three and a half minutes into the second frame, Owen Hurtibese was able to find a loose puck and put it in the back of the net, giving the MoJacks a 4-1 lead.
But, Clarington was later able to score two goals, five seconds apart, cutting Port Perry’s lead to 4-3. However, nine and a half minutes in, Jeff Gauld found himself on a breakaway and passed the puck to Derek Risebrough, who fired it into the top corner of the net, extending the MoJacks lead to 5-3.
The Eagles scored once in the third, but the MoJacks held on to win the first game 5-4.
However, Port Perry could not find the same success when they returned home to Scugog Arena for Game 2, on Saturday, February 16th.
The MoJacks ended up losing that game 7-2, to Clarington. They were out-shot 64-35 in the game. Gauld and Risebrough were the MoJacks’ goal scorers. Goalie Corey Kuypers was pulled after allowing four goals on 39 shots. Backup goalie Connor Latchford, who came in in relief, allowed three goals on 25 shots.
Both teams then returned to the Garnet B. Rickard complex, on Sunday, February 17th, for the deciding Game 3, with their seasons on the line.
It took until the second period for goals to be scored in that game. Over five and a half minutes into the period, Spencer Robinson put a wrist shot on net, beating Clarington’s goalie, giving the MoJacks a 1-0 lead. Then, with less than six minutes remaining in the second period, Gauld came into the Clarington zone on a breakaway and put the puck through the legs of the Eagles’ goalie, making it a 2-0 game.
The MoJacks’ offense kept on coming in the third period. Less than two and a half minutes in, Spencer Robinson scored his second goal of the game, on a MoJack power play. 53 seconds later, Risebrough received a nice pass from Gauld and put a one-timer on net, beating the Eagles’ goaltender, making it a 4-0 game. Two minutes later, the Eagles got on the board with a goal, cutting the lead to 4-1. But Port Perry added a power play goal late in the period, from Ben Sheremeta, and Port Perry closed out the series with a 5-1 victory.
With the win, the MoJacks advanced to the next round to face their rival the Uxbridge Bruins.
After the game, MoJacks assistant coach Patrick Jobb gave his thoughts on Game 2 and Game 3.
“A real bad game, probably our worst of the year in Game 2 and maybe our best of the year in Game 3. The boys came to play today, when their season was on the line,” he said.
Jobb also spoke about the difference between the two games.
“Yesterday, Clarington’s season was on the line, and today ours was. When your back is against the wall and it’s do or die, you separate the boys from the men, and today I thought our goalie played great, but our older guys stepped up as well, and our [veterans] really took control,” he explained.
Before the start of Game 2, Derek Risebrough was recognized as the January/February Offensive Player of the Month.
We reserve the right to remove any and all comments for any reason. Comments with swearing will be deleted without exception.