DAN CEARNS The Standard
SCUGOG: The Port Perry MoJacks won back to back-to-back games over the weekend, defeating the North Kawartha Knights and the Little Britain Merchants.
Before their weekend games took place, ahead of the January 10th trade deadline, the MoJacks re-acquired last year’s Orr division leading scorer, Mitch Gustavsen, from the Pickering Panthers, in exchange for Tyler Giamov.
“It was an opportunity that presented itself, in that Mitch was not happy where he was in Pickering and had expressed interest in coming back and finishing the year with the MoJacks. He played here two years previous, and very much enjoyed the way we operated our hockey club, with how we treated him and the rest of our players for that matter, and just wanted to come back and help us in our quest to win a championship,” MoJacks general manager Murray Parliament told The Standard.
As well, Mr. Parliament said Giamov was a “great kid [and] a great player” for the MoJacks, stating that he did everything the coaching staff asked of him.
“We hated to lose him, you hate to lose a young guy of his talent, but at some point you make a decision that for the balance of the season one offers a little bit different quality to our hockey club than the other,” he said.
He also spoke about what his expectations are for Gustavsen.
“I think that Mitch has got to play a little bit of a different style than he played last year, with respect to his role on the team and getting less involved in the physical aspect and more involved in giving us added offense that we were looking for,” Mr. Parliament said.
The MoJacks’ game against North Kawartha, in Apsley on Saturday, January 13th, was scoreless until the second period. The period did not start the way the team had hoped, as less than two minutes in, North Kawartha scored. But, less than nine minutes later, James Boyle put the puck in the net to tie the game.
Then, in the dying seconds of the second period, Derek Risebrough scored a power play goal, to give Port Perry their first lead of the game.
In the third period, Gustavsen rewarded the MoJacks for bringing him back by scoring twice, and the MoJacks defeated North Kawartha by a final score of 4-1.
The MoJacks then headed back to Scugog Arena, looking to carry the momentum from the win into a matchup with the Little Britain Merchants.
Over four minutes into the first frame, Owen Hurtibese scored, giving the MoJacks the first lead of the game. Less than four minutes later, Ben Sheremeta received a great pass from Hurtibese and deposited the puck into the open side of the net, to give Port Perry a 2-0 lead. With 42 seconds left in the period, Luke Wyatt rifled a shot into the top right corner of the net, extending Port Perry’s lead to 3-0.
Port Perry continued to roll in the second period. Less than four minutes in, Josh Dickson lit the lamp. Then, over 11 minutes in, Luke Wyatt picked up his second goal of the game, and Port Perry had a 5-0 lead. Less than two minutes later, Brady Martin scored.
17 seconds after that, Gustavsen got on the scoresheet with a goal, giving the MoJacks a 7-0 lead. With less than five and a half minutes remaining in the period, Dickson tipped a pass from Hurtibese into the back of the net, for his second goal of the game, giving Port Perry an 8-0 lead. Less than 3 minutes later, Austin Mackie received a perfect pass from Derek Risebrough and put it in the back of the net. With 25 seconds remaining in the second frame, Dickson scored his hat trick goal, and Port Perry had a 10-0 lead after 40 minutes of play.
The MoJacks scored twice in the third period, Martin scored his second of the game and Dickson scored his fourth goal of the game, and held on to beat the Merchants by a final score of 12-0. Corey Kuypers stopped all 11 shots he faced, earning the shutout.
After the game, MoJacks head coach Tom Boyle said he liked his team’s energy and compete level.
“The boys just played awesome. I know that it was Little Britain, and [the Merchants] haven’t won a game all year, but right from the drop of the puck we were on fire and going, and that just carried through the whole game. I thought we played really well,” he said.
He also spoke about what he thought about Gustavsen’s first two games with the team.
“Mitch has been pretty solid and it’s nice to get him back in our lineup, and he should help us definitely going down the stretch and in the playoffs.”
The MoJacks will next play against the Georgina Ice, in Georgina, on Friday, January 19th. Puck drop for that game is 7:30 p.m. They will then face the only team in the Orr division that is ahead of them in the standings, the Lakefield Chiefs, on Sunday, Jan. 21st, at Scugog Arena. That game will start at 2:25 p.m.
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