Ironmen split weekend games on the road to stay in fifth place
BY SHAWN LOUGHLIN
The Wingham Ironmen split their games over the weekend, first beating the Mount Forest Patriots by a score of 3-2 and then losing to the Walkerton Capitals by a score of 3-0.
On Friday, Oct. 20, the Ironmen scored the first three goals and held off a late surge to beat the Patriots in Mount Forest by a score of 3-2.
Noah Wettlaufer opened the scoring for the Ironmen, finding the back of the net, unassisted, at 13:09 of the first period, followed by Austin Becker scoring his fourth goal of the season for the Ironmen at 17:59 of the first, assisted by Darcy Scott.
Wingham’s Nigel Kreager then scored the only goal of the second period, assisted by Owen Rahn and Noah Wettlaufer, putting the Ironmen up by three goals.
Mount Forest would score the only two goals of the third period, but it wouldn’t be enough to stage a full-fledged comeback. Jordan Leitch scored his first goal of the season at 17:26, assisted by Brody Leblanc and Keegan Detweiler on the power play, followed by Brody Leblanc’s 10th goal of the season at 19:15, assisted by Charlie Mckenzie and Jaxon Gawel.
Garrett Golley earned the win in goal for the Ironmen, stopping 26 of 28 shots, while the Ironmen were very economical with their shooting, firing just 18 shots at Mount Forest’s Michael Purkhart, getting three past him.
Wingham’s Jesse Coombs was the first player to be sent to the penalty box, being called for boarding at 11:01 of the first period. The next three penalties all went to Patriots. Owen Tovell was called for boarding at 13:32 and Jordan Leitch was given a head contact minor penalty and a 10-minute misconduct, both at 18:42 of the first period.
Tyson Fischer of the Ironmen was called for cross-checking at 7:11 of the second period, followed by a boarding penalty called against Micah Kraayenbrink of the Ironmen at 12:59 of the second period and a hooking call against Owen Tovell of the Patriots at 15:32 of the second period.
Tyson Fischer of the Ironmen was back in the penalty box again at the beginning of the third period, being called for hooking at 1:04 of the frame, followed by a facemask penalty called against Wingham’s Josh Pham at 6:33 of the third period - the same time Mount Forest’s Charlie Mckenzie was called for roughing.
Tayt Bramhill of the Ironmen was then called for interference at 10:45 of the final frame, followed by a tripping call against Wingham’s Ethan Smith at 15:48 of the period.
The next day, the Ironmen were in Walkerton for a game with the Capitals, who scored a goal per period on the way to blanking the Ironmen by a score of 3-0.
Nathan Doran scored his fifth of the season at 10:25 of the first, assisted by Owen Troyer, followed by Markus Grajnar-Ptok scoring his third goal of the season at 13:23 of the second, assisted by Nate Oniszeczko.
Chase Lorenz would then put the game away with his fifth goal of the season, scored on the power play at 18:15 of the third period, assisted by Markus Grajnar-Ptok and Nathan Doran.
Kaleb Meyer was tagged with the loss in net for the Ironmen, stopping 31 of the 34 shots he faced, while Noah Lundgren earned the shutout win for the Capitals, stopping all 27 of the shots he faced.
Officials called eight penalties in the game, four in the first and second periods, all against Walkerton, and the four in the third period, all against Wingham.
For Walkerton, Sam Shakes was called for slashing at 17:06 of the first period and then again at 3:48 of the second period for roughing, followed by a high-sticking call against Cohen Garvie at 5:25 of the second and an interference call against Nathan Doran at 15:33 of the second period.
In the third period, against Wingham, cross-checking penalties were handed out to Josh Dales at 2:48 and Nigel Kreager at 8:17. Owen Rahn then served the next two penalties, an unsportsmanlike conduct call, also at 8:17, and a head-contact penalty called at 18:08.
The Hanover Barons remain undefeated atop the North Pollock Division of the Provincial Junior Hockey League with nine wins, one tie and 19 points. The Kincardine Bulldogs are in second place with a record of 8-2-1-1 and 18 points, the Walkerton Capitals in third place with 15 points and a record of 7-4-1-0, the fourth-place Mount Forest Patriots with a record of 6-4-1-0 and 13 points and the Wingham Ironmen in fifth place with a record of 6-5-1-0, also with 13 points.
The Mitchell Hawks are in sixth place with a record of 4-6-2-0 and 10 points, followed by the seventh-place Fergus Whalers with eight points and a record of 2-6-2-2 and the Goderich Flyers in last place with a record of 2-9-0-0 and four points.
Looking ahead, the Ironmen are in Hanover on Friday, Oct. 27 to play the undefeated Barons, followed by a Saturday, Oct. 28 contest with the Patriots in Mount Forest.
The team begins November back in Wingham, welcoming the Hanover Barons to the North Huron Wescast Community Complex on Nov. 3, followed by a Nov. 4 game with the Hawks in Mitchell.
The Ironmen then welcome the Goderich Flyers to Wingham on Nov. 10 before heading to Walkerton to play the Capitals on Nov. 12. The team then plays on the road the following weekend, taking on the Barons in Hanover on Nov. 17 and the Flyers in Goderich on Nov. 18, before returning to Wingham to play the Mount Forest Patriots on Nov. 24 and finishing out the month of November in Fergus for a Nov. 26 game with the Whalers.