Ironmen in fourth place heading into the weekend
BY SHAWN LOUGHLIN
The Wingham Ironmen remain in fourth place in the North Pollock division of the Provincial Junior Hockey League after a pair of wins on the road over the weekend.
On Friday night, the Ironmen went to overtime and came out with a 4-3 victory over the Kincardine Bulldogs and followed that up with an 8-3 win over the Walkerton Hawks. The Ironmen sit at 26 points, the same as the third-place Mount Forest Patriots, but have suffered eight losses this season, compared to Mount Forest’s seven, but with an overtime loss and a tie.
Sunday’s game began with a goal by Ethan Scrimgeour just 13 seconds into the game, his first of the season. Nate Bloemberg and Austin McKeachnie assisted on the goal.
Walkerton struck back, tying the game at 1:46 of the first period with an unassisted goal, scored by Owen Troyer.
They then went back and forth throughout the period, with Wingham reclaiming the lead on the strength of a power play goal by Kyle Stanbury at 3:26, assisted by Matt Tolton and Dana Smith and then adding to their lead at 10:11 with a Tanner Reid goal, assisted by Evan Visser.
Walkerton clawed back with a goal at 17:05 of the first period, scored by Connor Borth and assisted by Jamie Damignani and Brayden Fischer.
Jonah Burley then scored two power play goals, one at 7:05 of the second period and one at 17:01 of the second to make it 5-2 for Wingham. Stanbury assisted on both goals, with Klee also assisting on the first and Evan Visser assisting on the second.
Ten seconds later, Austin McKeachnie made it 6-2 for the Ironmen with a goal at 17:11, assisted by Chris Adlys.
Stanbury scored his second goal of the game for Wingham to open the scoring in the third period at 5:04, assisted by Payten Wheeler.
Damignani scored at 7:34 of the third for the Ironmen, assisted by Kyle Durrer and Trevor Fischer, to bring the Hawks a bit closer, but it was all over when Austin Becker scored again for the Ironmen, unassisted, to end the game with a score of 8-3 in favour of the Ironmen.
Both teams spent plenty of time in the penalty box, with Wingham committing 10 infractions and spending 37 minutes in the box, and Walkerton serving 53 minutes in penalties on 14 infractions.
Garrett Golley played the entire game in net for the Ironmen, making 42 saves, while Kyle Rivers made 63 saves over the course of the game in net for the Hawks.
On Friday night in Kincardine, the Bulldogs asserted themselves early, scoring the first two goals of the game. Gavin Gibbons scored at 2:58 of the first period, assisted by Bryce McFadden and Joshua Jacklin, followed by an unassisted goal by Steven Grant eight minutes into the first period.
The Ironmen scored their first goal of the game at 19:35 of the first period when Matt Tolton found the back of the net, assisted by Chris Adlys on the power play.
Kyle Stanbury did all the scoring in the second period, tying the game for the Ironmen and then pulling the team out front with his 18th and 19th goals of the season. He scored 30 seconds into the period, assisted by Tolton and Evan Visser on the power play, and again at 10:33, unassisted.
Only 36 seconds into the third period, Steven Grant tied the game for Kincardine on the power play, assisted by Jordan Moulton, sending the game to overtime.
In overtime, Tolton found the back of the net at 6:49 of the first overtime period, assisted by Jonah Burley and Stanbury, winning it for the Ironmen.
The Bulldogs spent 10 minutes in the penalty box on five infractions, while the Ironmen committed seven infractions, spending 22 minutes in the box.
Devon Carson played the entire game in net for Wingham, making 26 saves, while Jacklin played most of the game in net for Kincardine, making 29 saves. Ryan Tanner came on late for the Bulldogs and would make just one save in his 13 seconds played before conceding the game-winner to Tolton.
The Hanover Barons sit atop the league’s North Pollock division with 36 points and a record of 17-2-1-1 (wins, losses, overtime losses and ties), followed by the Mitchell Hawks, who also have 36 points, but a record of 17-3-2-0. The Mount Forest Patriots are in third with a record of 12-7-1-1, followed by the Ironmen in fourth at 13-8-0-0.
The Kincardine Bulldogs are in fifth with a record of 10-8-1-1, followed by the Walkerton Hawks in sixth at 3-16-2-1 and the last-place Goderich Flyers, who remain winless with a record of 0-21-0-0.
The Ironmen are back in action on Friday night as they welcome the first-place Hanover Barons to the North Huron Wescast Community Complex. The puck drops at 8 p.m. They then play an afternoon affair with the Goderich Flyers on Sunday with puck drop scheduled for 2:30 p.m.