There was an international flair to the action at Scugog Arena on New Year’s Day, as the Port Perry MoJacks skated to a 6-3 victory over Switzerland’s EHC Dudendorf in the fourth of six games in special exhibition series for the Provincial Junior Hockey League (PJHL) taking place in communities across the province.
Nearly 400 fans created a festive atmosphere for the afternoon affair, and the game more than lived up to its billing, featuring exciting scoring chances at both ends of the ice throughout the match.
Almost seven minutes into the action, Kristian Gorz gave EHC Dubendorf their first lead of the tour and the visitors would cling to their 1-0 lead until Graham Lamers jammed in a loose puck with just under four minutes to play in the opening frame to tie the game for Port Perry.
The MoJacks would take a 2-1 lead into the dressing room after 20 minutes of play following a late powerplay goal by Adam Turner, assisted by Konrad Piorkowski.
Just over four minutes into the second period, MoJacks goaltender Blake Shaw turned aside a penalty shot attempt to preserve the lead for Port Perry, but the visitors continued to try and claw their way back into the game. EHC Dubendorf’s efforts were reward just over five minutes later, when Jan Schmid scored to tie the game once more, mere moments after MoJacks captain Lucas Berkers was stymied by the post on a sensational scoring chance at the other end of the ice.
Following a goalie change for the MoJacks, Dubendorf took their second lead of the afternoon when a long shot from Luca Danseur knifed its way through traffic in front of the Port Perry net to give the Swiss a 3-2 lead. However, that lead would be extremely short-lived, with Luke Wyatt tipping in a point shot from Berkers just 20 seconds later to knot the game 3-3 after 40 minutes of play.
Wyatt’s second goal of the afternoon restored the MoJacks’ lead early in the third period. Near the midpoint of the frame, Mitch Gustavsen gave Port Perry some breathing room, converting a pass from Piorkowski to put the home side up by a score of 5-3. EHC Dubendorf refused to go quietly however, forcing MoJacks net minder Brett Chandler to make several acrobatic saves to shut down the Swiss powerplay opportunities late in the game. Berkers would add a shorthanded empty net goal with just over a minute to play to put away any hopes of a Dubendorf comeback.
Reflecting on the unique opportunity to host this special international exhibition, MoJacks General Manager Murray Parliament told The Standard that the game was, “a very worthwhile endeavour, we met lot of great people, and these great kids have entertained a lot of great fans everywhere they’ve been.”
- EHC Dubendorf will wrap up their tour of Ontario this week with stops in Napanee and Alliston. Before the match in Port Perry, they had faced off against Kincardine, Mount Forest and Mitchell.
- The MoJacks split their regular season games over the holiday break. Port Perry prevailed 4-3 in a ‘Battle of North Durham’ in Uxbridge on Friday, Dec. 23, before dropping a 7-1 decision to the Clarington Eagles in Bowmanville on week ago.
- Around the league, the Uxbridge Bruins’ recent losing streak has stretched to five games following a 5-2 loss against the Lakefield Chiefs on Friday night at the Bear Den. As well, the Little Britain Merchants have dropped their past two games, falling to Clarington and Lakefield.
- This weekend, the MoJacks host the Bruins in a ‘Battle of North Durham’ at 2:25 p.m., on Sunday, Jan. 8 at Scugog Arena. On Friday night, the Bruins will look to claw their way to a victory over Clarington at the Bear Den, with the action getting underway at 7:45 p.m. And, Saturday night will see the Merchants back in action on home ice at 7:30 p.m., when they square off against Lakefield.