Special to The Standard
SCUGOG: A pair of dramatic comebacks over the weekend allowed the Port Perry MoJacks to maintain their perfect start to the Provincial Junior Hockey League season.
In a ‘Battle of North Durham’, in Uxbridge on Friday, Oct. 28th, the MoJacks found themselves trailing the arch rival Bruins by a score of 3-1 to start the third period, before storming back with four unanswered goals to score a 5-3 victory.
Back on home ice, at Scugog Arena on Sunday afternoon, the MoJacks needed overtime to complete their comeback, downing the Georgina Ice by a score of 5-4.
Without the services of captain Lucas Berkers on Friday night, the MoJacks found themselves trailing 1-0 after 20 minutes, with Adam Bartholomew continuing his strong play of late for the Bruins, as he scored just over six minutes into the action.
Early in the second period, Justin Aikins gave the home side a 2-0 advantage. After constant pressure throughout the middle frame, Konrad Piorkowski finally broke up Jake Joosten’s shut out bid, with just under six minutes to play in the second, bringing the MoJacks to within a score. However, with just over a minute to play in the period, a long shot from Bartholomew fooled Port Perry netminder Jacob Lebel, to restore a two-goal margin for Uxbridge, after 40 minutes of play.
With their undefeated start to the season hanging in the balance, the MoJacks stormed out of the gate in the third period, with penalty trouble taking its toll on the Bruins. A powerplay goal by Graham Lamers, just over a minute into the third, brought Port Perry to within one, and less than two minutes later, Piorkowski’s second of the night knotted the game 3-3.
Joosten did his best to keep the MoJacks at bay, making a sensational save on Brady Martin, following a turnover deep in Bruins’ territory. However, shortly afterwards with the MoJacks back on the power play, Tyler Hutchinson fought through traffic in front of the net, to redirect a point shot by Liam Schweda into the back of the net, to give the MoJacks their first lead of the evening. Port Perry would add another powerplay goal, scored by Toby Cooper, with just over five minutes to play to round out the scoring, in a thrilling 5-3 comeback victory.
The MoJacks would need more elbow grease, on Sunday afternoon at home, against the Georgina Ice, after falling behind 3-0 early in the second period. Goals from Lamers and Cooper would melt the Ice’s lead briefly before another Georgina goal, near the end of the middle frame, gave the visitors a 4-2 advantage heading into the third period.
Berkers scored just past the midway mark of the third, to bring the MoJacks to within one, and Mitch Gustavsen tied things up on a powerplay, with just over six minutes remaining in regulation. Unable to settle on a winner through 60 minutes, the teams headed to overtime, where Gustavsen would prove to be the hero, scoring an unassisted power play goal with just over a minute remaining, to seal another dramatic rally for the MoJacks, who continue to sit alone atop the Orr Division standings, with 13 consecutive wins to open the season.