Monday, September 20th, 2010
Mounties spoil Navy Vets return
This year's Woodstock Navy Vets are going to experience growing pains.
A slow start, undisciplined penalties and an anemic power play all contributed to a season- opening 2-1 loss against the Paris Mounties Friday at Southwood Arena. Perhaps the most important result, though, wasn't on the score-board.
"We're there," Navy Vets head coach Jeff Morrison said. "We're showing we can play. The rookies showed they belong here . For the most part they all had a good start."
Woodstock's undoing, not surprisingly, was the first period. Paris scored twice as the Navy Vets battled opening night jitters. The Mounties took advantage and picked up a rare season-opening win.
"For a team that needed some life kicked into it, it's the perfect way to kick the season off ,"first- year Mounties' head coach Bryan Jackson said. "We have a lot of new guys and returning vets. It's getting that comfort zone and working together."
Neil Pittock, one of six Navy Vets returnees, was extremely sharp in his first game as Woodstock's No. 1 goaltender. The 18-year-old from Ingersoll was at his best in the third period, stopping a breakaway and preventing the Mounties from scoring an insurance marker.
Paris' Merrit Crumback and Andrew Pawluk scored in a four-minute span late in the first period.
"I don't blame him on either goal," Morrison said. "A breakaway (goal) and back door on the power play. We just didn't bury our chances."
Navy Vets rookie forward Adison Alexander was the only Woodstock player to find the net behind Mounties goalie Lee Doherty. It was the Listowel native's first junior hockey goal.
"Once we settled down we outplayed them and carried the play," Morrison said.
Woodstock had its chances on the power play but went 0-for-12 with the extra man. A last-minute scuffle gave the Navy Vets a power play with 21 seconds remaining, but Paris was able to ice the puck and hold on for the victory.
Woodstock will have its next big test this Friday in Norwich at 8 p.m.
"We're going to have to be ready," Morrison said. "(If ) we come out like we did (against Paris) it will be a long night.
"We have to settle down. The home opener is over, the nerves are over. We'll be alright."