The Wellesley Apple Jacks had a decent weekend of play with one win and one shoot-out loss, but coach Kevin Fitzpatrick says he didn’t see the drive and dedication that he has come to expect from the squad.
The Nov. 19 home game against the Ayr Centennials – a 5-2 win – saw the team come out strong in the first period, earning a 1-0 lead going into the intermission. By the second period, the play had evened out significantly and the teams were tied at 2-2 when they headed back into the dressing room.
In the third, however, goals scored by Chris Bauman and Mike Forster sealed the deal for the Jacks.
“We played very well on Friday,” said Fitzpatrick. “We had a bit of a lethargic second period but we played very well during the first and third.”
The following, day, the team travelled to St. George to face the Dukes, a team ranked just above the Jacks in the McConnell Conference standings. For the Jacks and the Dukes it was a tennis match of back-and-forth hockey that could not be decided within regulation or overtime minutes and had to be settled in a shootout. With six alternating goals, Wellesley took the lead three times (1-0, 2-1, 3-2) but St. George was always right there to tie it up. In the end, it was goals from the last two St. George shootout shooters that tipped the scale, giving the Dukes a hard-fought win.
“Saturday was arguably the worst prepared we have come and play in a long time,” said Fitzpatrick. “I am not sure why we were that complacent but our key players just weren’t our key players that night.”
With Wellesley looking a bit flat in the first period, they were the only team fortunate to find the back of the net, with a goal by Chris Bauman on one of the only five shots in the period. Jordon Bauman came out strong in net for the Apple Jacks, stopping all 13 shots taken by St. George in this first frame.
In the second, the Dukes were able to even it up at one with only 30 seconds off the clock, but Wellesley answered back with one of their own by Corey Way at the eight-minute mark. This small lead was quickly erased by St. George’s goal six minutes later.
It made for an entertaining and very even period of hockey, leaving it tied at two with only 20 minutes to go.
The third period saw the Apple Jacks pull up their socks a bit. They took the lead for the third time within the first minute of play, but St. George was determined to make a game of it courtesy of a tying goal with 10 minutes left.
In the shootout, after a quick goal by the Jacks’ Spencer Aspden, St. George was in the familiar position of having to come back to stay alive – and they did just that. Their final two shooters both converted with goals, to put them ahead for good, two goals to one, giving them the victory, 4-3.
“Jordan (Bauman), our goalie, had by far one of his best games of the year,” said Fitzpatrick. “Had he not been on, we would have lost by a big score. I can’t say we played badly this weekend but we didn’t have the drive and consistency that we have had all month.”
The Jacks have another two games this weekend; they are in Tavistock Friday evening at 7:30 p.m.