Monday, Oct 1st, 2007
Renegades first home game
For the first two periods, the Woodstock East Side Mario's Renegades threw everything they could at Paris Mounties' goaltender Nathan Paleczny.
While there was no word on whether the kitchen sink was in danger, Woodstock went to the dressing room after 40 minutes down by a goal and unable to score one of its own.
The scenario - a home opening loss to a team that didn't win a game last season - was a nightmarish one for the Renegades, who were showing off their home white and burgundy jerseys for the first time Friday night.
To their credit, the Renegades didn't panic, and their persistence paid off when Justin Pottruff banged home his first of the year on a goalmouth scramble 4:19 into the third to tie the game 1-1.
The goal was an icebreaker for the Renegades, who added two more and sent close to 400 fans at Southwood Arena home happy following a 3-2 win, their first of the season.
"We just kept plugging away," said Pottruff, the game's second star. "Forty-something shots on him, you can't say we played bad. A crash and bang goal got us going."
If anything, Pottruff's goal - the first scored on home ice as the Renegades -forced the Mounties to open up from their defensive shell, and it allowed Woodstock to relax.
"It felt awesome to get the monkey off our backs," Pottruff said. "We needed that win. We didn't want to lose to Paris, and they didn't win last year. It was nice to get the first win as the Renegades and we want to keep it going."
Kyle Heffernan and Blair Falotico also scored for the Gades (1-0-1-0), who rebounded from a short-handed goal midway through the third to retake the lead.
Forty-two seconds after a sloppy turnover at the Woodstock blue-line allowed Adam Walsh to walk in alone and deke Renegades goalie Chris Lee to tie the game 2-2, Brandon Schell's low wrist shot from the top of the right circle deflected off Falotico and past a screened Paleczny for the winner with 9:15 remaining in the third.
It snuck inside the left post for the rookie's first goal of the year.
"We played hard, we outworked them and we carried the play," Woodstock head coach Derek Partlo said. "We just didn't capitalize on our offensive chances enough."
It wasn't for a lack of trying. Woodstock outshot Paris 48-11 and would have held a much bigger lead if not for the play of Paleczny.
"Nathan is going to be an integral part of our success," said Paris head coach Pat Lenehan, the former Norwich Merchants boss who was brought in this summer to help reverse the team's sinking fortunes. "There's no pressure to build a championship, we're trying to rebuild the reputation of the mid-90s Mounties. We've been trying to recruit some solid people … and I believe we have done that."
NOTES: During the opening ceremonies, Oxford County Naval Veterans Association president Art Caravan was on hand to dedicate the No. 41 jersey to the team. The jersey, which is being sponsored by the OCNVA and is worn by rookie Mike Brilhante, signifies the number of seasons the Junior C club spent as the Navy Vets.