Ter­ri­ers kick off sea­son Fri­day

In spite of losses dur­ing pre-sea­son, Jr. C. team is op­ti­mistic about reg­u­lar sea­son

Packet & Times (Orillia) - - SPORTS - DAVE DAW­SON david.daw­son@sun­media.ca Twit­ter.com/dav­edaw­son67

In an era of an­a­lyt­ics, some would say hockey is a num­bers game. Right now, the num­bers aren’t adding up par­tic­u­larly well for the Subaru of Oril­lia Ter­ri­ers.

Over the week­end, the lo­cal Jr. C squad was outscored 20-0 and went 0-3 at the 10th an­nual Alliston Hor­nets Pre-Sea­son Tour­na­ment. The lo­cal team was also win­less in its three pre-sea­son games. But as the team gets ready for its home opener Fri­day night, the most trou­bling num­ber for the Ter­ri­ers may be the num­ber of play­ers on the bench.

For var­i­ous rea­sons — work com­mit­ments, ill­ness and other is­sues — the Ter­ri­ers have had just 12 skaters for most of their games to date. Dur­ing the first game of the tour­na­ment in Alliston, vet­eran for­ward Corey Miller in­jured his shoul­der and was out of the lineup for the rest of the tour­ney.

“We strug­gled with num­bers and just didn’t have a lot of kids,” said first-year Ter­ri­ers coach and gen­eral man­ager Keith Penna. “But for the amount of kids we had, I ac­tu­ally thought we played well.”

Af­ter be­ing out­classed 10-0 by Port Perry in the tour­na­ment-open­ing game, the Ter­ri­ers re­bounded in their sec­ond con­test and, de­spite be­ing short­handed, went toe-to-toe with the Schomberg Cougars. “Go­ing into the third pe­riod, Schomberg was up 2-0, but we ran out of gas in the third,” said Penna, whose team lost 4-0.

Just two hours later, the Ter­ri­ers clashed with ri­val Pene­tang, who had crushed the Ter­ri­ers 15-0 just days ear­lier in the team’s fi­nal pre-sea­son con­test. Once again, the Ter­ri­ers played with heart and went stride for stride with the Kings, who had the lux­ury of a deep bench. How­ever, a con­tro­ver­sial call turned the tide, ul­ti­mately, against the Ter­ri­ers.

Trail­ing 2-0, the Ter­ri­ers fi­nally scored their first goal of the tour­na­ment only to have the ref­eree rule that the buzzer to end the sec­ond pe­riod had sounded first. “So, in­stead of go­ing into the third down 2-1, it was 2-0,” lamented Penna.

In the third, a cou­ple of ques­tion­able calls led to a key Pene­tang power-play goal and when Penna ques­tioned the ref­eree, the firstyear bench boss was ejected. He was as­sessed a two-game sus­pen­sion, which he is ap­peal­ing. “There was no swear­ing or scream­ing – noth­ing that war­ranted me be­ing ejected and sus­pended,” said Penna.

De­spite the losses and frus­tra­tion, Penna is up­beat and con­fi­dent about the new sea­son set to dawn. “Take the game against Pene­tang,” said Penna. “They had pasted us the last time we played and even though we had just 12 kids (and Matt Vince and rookie Tyler Thomas played through in­juries), it was a 2-0 game go­ing into the third. I was ex­cited about that.”

He was also ex­cited about the team’s goal­tend­ing. He said both Morgan Pen­well and Kur­tis Stacey were “awe­some.” The coach said the net­mind­ing duo played “bet­ter than ex­pected this early in the sea­son. They got a lot of work. Hon­estly, I was re­ally happy with them and the rest of the team was happy with the way they played.”

Penna is also con­fi­dent that he and team pres­i­dent Mike Duprey will be suc­cess­ful in sign­ing play­ers this week to en­sure the team is at full strength when the sea­son starts. While he didn’t want to pro­vide names un­til pa­pers were signed, he hinted a few for­mer play­ers are ex­pected to re­turn. On top of that, they have their sights set on a hand­ful of other play­ers who were late cuts by other ju­nior teams.

“I’m feel­ing re­ally good and the kids are ex­cited about the sea­son,” said Penna. “Hon­estly, we just need more bod­ies. I re­ally be­lieve we are go­ing to be a sleeper this year. The kids are re­ally ded­i­cated to the team, to Oril­lia ... they’re great kids and I’m ex­cited to be coach­ing th­ese kids.”

The Ter­ri­ers kick off the 201718 reg­u­lar sea­son Fri­day night when they host Schomberg in a 7:30 p.m. con­test at Ro­tary Place. Oril­lia’s first three games are at home: On Satur­day night at 7:30, the Ter­ri­ers will wel­come reign­ing league cham­pion Alliston, which won their own tour­na­ment on the week­end, and on Sept. 20, the Ter­ri­ers will host Stayner in an 8 p.m. con­test at Ro­tary Place.

TER­RIER TALES: Joey Moir, who played for the Ter­ri­ers two years ago, played for Oril­lia dur­ing the Alliston tour­na­ment. Miller is ques­tion­able to start the sea­son due to his shoul­der in­jury. Penna said he ex­pects Miller along with vet­er­ans Matt Vince, Kon­nor Blimke and Ben Gar­rett to be among the team’s lead­ers this year.

DAVE DAW­SON/THE PACKET & TIMES The Subaru of Oril­lia Ter­ri­ers will have a lot of new faces in their lineup when they kick off their Pro­vin­cial Jr. C sea­son Fri­day night at 7:30 p.m. at Ro­tary Place against the Schomberg Cougars. The team lost all three of

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