Ap­ple­jacks split first two games to open sea­son

Af­ter a 4-2 loss in Woodstock, the still-gelling team put on a real show with a 12-0 win over Delhi

The Woolwich Observer - - SPORTS - FAISAL ALI

THE WELLESLEY AP­PLE­JACKS SPLIT a pair of games on the open­ing week­end of their 2017-18 sea­son. While the record shows as 1-1, the GF/GA num­bers were much more skewed: Af­ter drop­ping a 4-2 de­ci­sion on Fri­day night, the team bounced back to post a 12-0 win.

The team played first against the Navy Vets in Woodstock on Septem­ber 15 be­fore trav­el­ling to Delhi the fol­low­ing night.

The Ap­ple­jacks kicked off their sea­son with a fast start against Woodstock, draw­ing first blood with a power play goal from de­fense­man Kyle Soper, as­sisted by Zach Ribeiro and Shaun Pick­er­ing.

How­ever, Woodstock soon re­cov­ered, pot­ting one of their own in the first and then scor­ing the only goal in the sec­ond frame with less than a minute on the clock. Down 2-1 head­ing into the third, the Ap­ple­jacks had their work cut out for them – and the gap quickly widened.

Woodstock owned the ice in the fi­nal frame, quickly scor­ing two more goals in the first six min­utes of play, and se­cur­ing a 4-1 lead over the vis­i­tors.

Wellesley fought back with a sec­ond power play by de­fense­man Nick Mercier (Pick­er­ing), but with 10 min­utes left on the clock, could not get past the Woodstock team for the two more goals that they needed. The game ended 4-2 for the Navy Vets; it was a fierce bout, with Wellesley get­ting six power plays over the 60 min­utes of game time, and Woodstock nine.

“Go­ing into Woodstock Fri­day night, the out­come wasn’t what we wanted, but I think it was a (les­son) for the guys. You know, we’ve got to play 60 min­utes – you have to com­pete at all times,” said head coach Brad Ger­ber about the loss. “We’ll take what we can from it.”

Satur­day, the Jacks were on the road again, this time to Delhi to com­pete against the Trav­ellers; and they skated to a re­sound­ing 12-0 vic­tory.

“Go­ing into Delhi we did a lot of talk­ing be­cause of the game the night be­fore, and we wanted to make sure the guys were ready to play and com­pete,” said Ger­ber.

For the coach, it’s not the num­ber of points on the board that he’s most proud about, but rather the qual­ity work of team’s de­fence.

“Scor­ing 12 goals is great, but as the coach­ing staff I think we were more im­pressed that we held them to no goals, and they only had 16 shots. And that’s one thing we re­ally want to drill into th­ese guys, is that de­fence wins hockey games and that a good de­fence turns into a good of­fense. So I’m just very happy with the way we played on the de­fen­sive side of the puck on Satur­day, and good things hap­pened be­cause of it.”

The scor­ers of the game were Liam Hart­man and Jor­dan Hoek­stra with three points each, and Kyle Soper, Reade MacIn­nis, Kyle Fis­cher, Shaun Pick­er­ing, Trent La­marche and Nick Mercier with one point each.

It was an un­even start to the sea­son, but Ger­ber is pos­i­tive the team is get­ting on the right track.

“I think we have nine new faces in the lineup, so it’s go­ing to take a lit­tle time. I’m re­ally happy with the way the new guys to the lineup played. The vet­er­ans have to lead by ex­am­ple and show them to play 60 min­utes every night, and just lead the way for th­ese young guys,” said Ger­ber.

“I’m con­fi­dent it will hap­pen, it will get much bet­ter.”

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