Ap­ple­jacks post three straight wins to end 2018

Christ­mas was good to the team, which looks to keep things rolling in the new year with a busy week­end

The Woolwich Observer - - SPORTS - VERON­ICA REINER

THE WELLES­LEY AP­PLE­JACKS DIDN’T get much time off, but they cer­tainly en­joyed Christ­mas week, gift­ing them­selves three wins in games against Tav­i­s­tock, Ayr and Bur­ford.

The wins landed the team in third place in the South Do­herty Divi­sion of the Pro­vin­cial Ju­nior Hockey League, their 44 points just four be­hind the sec­ond­place New Ham­burg Fire­birds and 11 be­hind the first-place Tav­i­s­tock Braves. Welles­ley opened up a bit of a cush­ion over the Paris Moun­ties and Nor­wich Mer­chants, both tied for fourth with 39 points.

The Jacks got things rolling by fac­ing off against the Braves in Tav­i­s­tock just prior to Santa’s big day, post­ing a 3-2 over­time de­ci­sion on De­cem­ber 23.

It was the vis­i­tors that got on the board first, tak­ing ad­van­tage of a power play at 7:40 of the open­ing pe­riod. That would be the only scor­ing play of the stanza, how­ever.

There was a bit more ac­tion in the sec­ond, with the teams swap­ping goals.

Alex Ut­t­ley (James Ran­son) scored Welles­ley’s first goal of the game at 8:11, but the Braves were quick to re­spond with an unas­sisted goal less than a minute later. It was 2-1 Tav­i­s­tock af­ter 40 min­utes.

James Ran­son (Ut­t­ley, Shaun Pick­er­ing) man­aged to tie things up again by pot­ting one at 5:10 in the third frame. Welles­ley had plenty of chances, out­shoot­ing Tav­i­s­tock 16-9 en route to a 34-28 ad­van­tage by game’s end, but couldn’t get an­other in reg­u­la­tion, send­ing the teams to over­time.

Things were tense but un­event­ful un­til Welles­ley’s Daniel Tsi­ampas scored the game-win­ning goal at 1:53, with Reade MacInnes and Zachary Lyons pick­ing up as­sists – the Jacks’ only lead all night was the one that mat­tered.

Fol­low­ing a four-day break for Christ­mas, the Jacks showed no ill ef­fects from the turkey when they re­turned to the ice De­cem­ber 27 in Ayr.

Welles­ley wasted no time get­ting on the board, with Shaun Pick­er­ing scor­ing

just 19 sec­onds in the first frame. Ut­t­ley and Warren Gor­man picked up as­sists. Ayr was quick to re­spond, how­ever, tak­ing ad­van­tage of their early power play and scor­ing at 4:38. Welles­ley was de­ter­mined to dom­i­nate this frame, with Gor­man (Ethan Hebel, Jonathon Tsi­ampas) pot­ting an­other goal at 6:01, and Pick­er­ing (Ut­t­ley, Gor­man) scor­ing an­other at 18:50. This gave Welles­ley a com­fort­able 3-1 lead.

The Cen­ten­ni­als picked up the pace in the sec­ond, scor­ing just 35 sec­onds in on a power play. Welles­ley gave up yet an­other goal on a power play at 9:53, be­fore get­ting back on track at 12:04, with an unas­sisted goal by Jonathon Tsi­ampas. Ayr’s Jack­son White re­sponded quickly with an unas­sisted goal at 13:06, evening the score­board at 4-4 headed into the last pe­riod.

The Jacks kept their cool, with Gor­man (Pick­er­ing, Ut­t­ley) pot­ting one and re­gain­ing the lead at 7:27. James Ran­son (Cole Ben­der, Danny Ran­son) scored an­other one at 9:14 for good mea­sure, re­sult­ing in the team’s 6-4 win.

Welles­ley’s fi­nal game of the cal­en­dar year against Bur­ford was con­sid­er­ably less even, as the Jacks gave the home crowd plenty to cheer about in an 11-0 past­ing of the Bull­dogs.

James Ran­son (MacInnes, Danny Ran­son) kicked off the match with a goal at 7:33, fol­lowed by Gor­man (Ut­t­ley, Pick­er­ing) at 14:03. Tyler Sch­windt scored an unas­sisted goal very quickly af­ter, at 14:17. Ut­t­ley pot­ted the fi­nal goal of the frame while shorthanded at 17:38, with Gor­man and Bryce Det­tweiler pick­ing up as­sists.

Welles­ley kept up the scor­ing frenzy headed into the sec­ond pe­riod, with Bur­ford never get­ting the chance to come back. Gor­man (Pick­er­ing, Colton Cul­bert) took ad­van­tage of the power play, pot­ting a goal just 32 sec­onds in. Pick­er­ing (Ut­t­ley, Ethan Hebel) kept up the heat scor­ing an­other in un­der a minute at 0:57. Gor­man ob­tained a hat trick, scor­ing his third goal of the game at 8:57, while the as­sist went to Shaun Pick­er­ing. Ai­den Kruger scored the fi­nal goal of the stanza, with as­sists go­ing to both of the Ran­sons – James and Danny – at 9:46.

The Jacks con­tin­ued to tame the Bull­dogs, keep­ing up the con­sec­u­tive, un­in­ter­rupted goals through­out the fi­nal pe­riod. James Ran­son (Koby Seil­ing, Krueger) scored an­other at 12:35, fol­lowed by a shorthanded goal by Ut­t­ley, with MacInnes and Pick­er­ing pick­ing up as­sists. The fi­nal goal went to James Ran­son, who also ob­tained a hat-trick through­out the course of the game, scor­ing his third goal on a power play at 18:59. As­sists went to Pick­er­ing and Kyle Soper.

This wrapped up the game with a huge 11-0 win for the Jacks. Welles­ley’s goalie, Bryce Det­tweiler, ob­tained a shutout by sav­ing all 23 of the shots he faced.

The Jacks look to keep up the win­ning ways in 2019, with three games this week­end. They’re in Delhi to­mor­row night (Fri­day) to face the Trav­ellers be­fore re­turn­ing home to wel­come the Paris Moun­ties on Satur­day at 7:30 p.m, then the Trav­ellers on Sun­day at 12:30 p.m.

[VERON­ICA REINER / THE OB­SERVER]

Bur­ford at­tempts to clear the zone dur­ing game ac­tion Dec. 29 in Welles­ley, some­thing they had plenty of trou­ble with in an 11-0 loss to the Jacks.

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