Goderich Flyers Report
It was only a week back when the Goderich Flyers named Doug Timmermans as their new general manager. He quickly found a new coach in the person of Paulie O’Byrne.
The Flyers won their first game under new leadership 6-5 over the Mitchell Hawks under the new regime, and a ray of hope dawned in Flyerland.
Losing their next three games and the ray of hope began to fade like the sun along the west coast of Lake Huron in November.
The Flyers re-ignited that hope on the sunny Sunday December afternoon last weekend when they upended the first place Wingham Ironmen, 4-3, before an enthusiastic crowd at the Maitland Recreation Centre. The teams went into the game with almost identical mirror-image records. The first place Ironmen had 18 wins and four losses. The Flyers had five wins and 18 losses.
No matter. The Flyers put in a gritty, determined effort, skating stride-for stride with the Ironmen and never trailed in the fast-paced, close-checking game. Eric Vander Eyk opened the scoring for the Flyers just 35 seconds into the game, finishing off a two-on-one rush with Chase Meurs. Ten minutes later, Meurs set up Cody Treble to put the Flyers up by two. Before the end of the period, Ryan Litt got one back for the Ironmen when he went in alone on Goderich goalie Kevin Linker.
The teams skated through a scoreless second period until Kyle Stanbury pulled the Ironmen even at 16:45, beating Linker on a powerplay with just two seconds left in the Flyers’ Zach Hamel’s roughing penalty. Cody Treble put the Flyers into a 3-2 lead midway through the third period, finishing off a nice three-way passing play with his brother Chad and Riley Conners. With just five minutes remaining in the game, Chase Meurs , with the Flyers on a power-play, took a short pass from his goalie, Linker, and skated the length of the ice to beat Wingham goaltender Devon Carson and put the Flyers up 4-2.
With just under three minutes left in the game, Wingham pulled Carson for an extra attacker and Stanbury scored from a scramble in front of the Goderich goal, making the score 4-3. Carson went back in with a faceoff in the Wingham end, but came out again in the final minute of play. Goderich coach O’Byrne called a timeout with 23 seconds remaining and the Flyers then held on for the win, their sixth of the season.
Meurs, with his three point afternoon, and Linker, who was a tower of strength in the Goderich goal, were instrumental in the Flyers’ victory. The Flyers lost the two other games they played on the weekend, but the win over the first place Ironmen had to be a big morale booster for the team. The two away losses, Friday and Saturday, were 9-3 to the Carruthers Division Caledon Golden Hawks and 7-5 to the Mitchell Hawks. In Caledon, the Flyers were down 3-1 after the first period, and 6-1 after two. Eric Vander Eck, Chase Meurs and Cody Treble were the Goderich goal scorers. Riley Conners, Matt Bean and Chad Treble picked up assists.
Saturday in Mitchell the Hawks gained revenge for the 6-5 Flyer victory over them the last time the two teams met.
The Hawks got unanswered goals from Tyson Hall and Bryce Lee in the first period, but in the second and third periods, the scoring was even: 3-3 in the second and 2-2 in the third. The Flyers thought they had another goal in the second period, but referee Matt Sterling ruled the Mitchell goal was dislodged before the puck entered the net.
Chad Treble, Eric Vander Eck and Cody Treble got the Goderich goals that did count, while Luke Van Pelt, Jake Finlayson and Jarrett Bogden scored for Mitchell. Chase Meurs had another three-point night, getting two assists on the second period goals and scoring once in the third period. Defenceman Avery Timmermans got the other third period goal for Goderich on a shot from the point. Additional Goderich assists were credited to Jeff Fritzley, new player Kasey Harrison, Cody Treble and goalie Kevin Linker. Hall and Van Pelt each got their second goal of the game for Mitchell in that third period.
Next action for the Flyers will be at the MRC Saturday night with the Walkerton Hawks providing the opposition with a 7:35pm puck-drop. The Flyers pay a return visit to play the Ironmen in Wingham next Sunday afternoon.