Monday, November 23rd, 2009
Overtime haunts Gades
The Renegades grabbed four out of a possible six game points this weekend, even in losing two of the three games played in four nights.
Woodstock got an early start to its weekend Thursday in Dunnville, racking up a 4-2 win against the last-place team from the Niagara Jr. C league's east division. The team followed that up with two 4-3 overtime losses-- Friday's in Grimsby and Sunday's at home.
"Our effort in the last two games has really been there," Renegades' forward Dan Phillips said Sunday. "We're really working as a team and everyone is showing up to play."
Phillips said the squad used the longer bus trips to Dunnville and Grimsby to do some bonding, discussing how it wanted to tackle each game and what strategies it wanted to put into play. Another bonding opportunity came Saturday as the Renegades manned a float in the Santa Claus Parade.
That said, Sunday's game provided some frustration. Ethan Doan gave the team a huge boost when he scored the 3-3 equalizer with seven seconds remaining in the game, nabbing the puck in the slot and backhanding it over Blues goaltender Cam Graham.
The boost would be short-lived as Dundas scrummed Woodstock goaltender Alex Gegeny early in overtime, effectively screening Cole McNeil's shot from just inside the blue-line.
"Some times it's hard when the other team scores to tie with seven seconds left," Blues' coach Dan Caco said. 'We had to keep our morale up. I changed things a bit too-- we went with four forwards on instead of the usual mix.
"These are two good teams and the score showed it. The opportunities for each team were about even."
Caco credited the Renegades for being a good skating team that finishes its checks.
"They can be dangerous down low and they proved that tonight," Caco said.
Phillips said the overtime loss was disappointing as the team had hoped to steal away the game from Dundas in the same way its Friday game was stolen when Grimsby's Drew Whalen scored with nine seconds left and then nabbed the shorthanded game-winner in overtime.
"It was a heartbreaker-- we put the effort in and fought to get back in," Renegade Travis Horvath said. "We felt good going into overtime and then it's tough when on their first shot they score."
The road won't get any easier in the days ahead as Woodstock hosts Simcoe Friday-- the Storm has won each of the first three matchups so far this season and remains one of two teams in the west division the Renegades haven't won a game against.
"We've been working on how to play them," Phillips said. "We know their goaltender Chris Lee really well, we need to get him moving around and get some traffic in front."
The Renegades cap the coming weekend by travelling to Paris for the second meeting against that team.