SCUGOG: The Port Perry MoJacks started their 2017-18 PJHL season with a win and a loss.
The MoJacks opened their season at Uxbridge Arena, on Friday, September 15th, with a 7-4 loss to the Bruins. However, they rebounded with an 8-1 victory, on home ice against the Little Britain Merchants, on Sunday, September 17th.
It didn’t take the MoJacks long to get on the board in Friday’s season opener. Just over three minutes into the first period, Tyler Giamov scored the MoJacks’ first goal of the season, capitalizing on an early power play. However, just under three minutes later, the Bruins would tie it up with a power play goal from Simon Feig, and then a goal, a little over a minute after that from Kieran Beaudoin, gave the Bruins their first lead of the game.
Penalties to the Bruins’ Cole Bremner and Thomas Sheedy, over halfway into the period, gave the MoJacks a two man advantage, which they capitalized on, with a goal from Kody Fruher to tie the game up. The MoJacks would later add a power play goal from Spencer Robinson, and the first period ended with the MoJacks on top 3-2.
But that lead quickly disappeared as just 16 seconds into the second period; Michael Rennie’s shot beat MoJack goaltender Shawn Mabley, and the game was once again tied.
The game heated up from there, as under five minutes into the period, Uxbridge’s Rennie and Port Perry’s Luke Wyatt fought. Both were given five minute fighting majors and game misconducts.
Then, eight and a half minutes into the second frame, Uxbridge’s Feig, found himself behind the defence and scored his second of the game.
However, later on, on the power play, MoJacks’ Brady Martin received a perfect pass from Derek Risebrough and put the puck past Bruins goaltender Ryan McConkey. Another assist on that goal went to Graham Lamers. The period ended with a 4-4 tie.
The Bruins were the only team to score in the third period, tallying three times, including an empty net goal, to give them a 7-4 victory.
The MoJacks were back in action, on Sunday afternoon at Scugog Arena, for a match-up with the Little Britain Merchants.
After a scoreless first period, the MoJacks’ offence erupted for five goals in the second period. Less than a minute in, Martin put a shot on goal that slipped past the Merchants’ goaltender, to give the MoJacks a 1-0 lead. Then, almost eight and a half minutes into the period, Austin Mackie slid a perfect pass in front of the net to Owen Hurtibese, who scored, to extend the MoJacks’ lead to two. The Merchants would cut that lead to one almost a minute later, but the MoJacks scored three more times in the period, to give them a 5-1 lead going into the third. Goal scorers were Josh Dickson, Lamers and Risebrough.
The MoJacks padded their lead in the third period, with two more goals, from Lamers and Martin’s second goal of the game. MoJacks’ goaltender, Corey Kuypers stopped all seven shots he faced in the third. Overall, he stopped 23 of 24 shots he faced. The MoJacks won the game 8-1.
Following the game, MoJacks head coach Tom Boyle said the message coming into Sunday’s game, following the loss to Uxbridge, was to play a full 60 minute game.
“We needed to be ready to go from the drop of the puck until the last whistle. That was the message, and I think the boys delivered pretty well on that. We played a solid game from start to finish,” he said.
Boyle also praised the performance of goaltender Corey Kuypers.
“I thought Corey Kuypers had a great game, made some key saves early in the game,” he said. “Obviously, teams build momentum off of scoring goals, and I thought he did a great job on coming up with some key saves early, and obviously when we get a lead, a little bit of the pressure is off.”
The MoJacks are next in action, on Thursday, Sept. 21st, at 7:20 p.m., against the Clarington Eagles at the Garnet B. Rickard Complex, in Bowmanville.