Monday, November 30th, 2009
Gades make Storm nervous
While Friday's end result was a 3-2 loss, the Woodstock Renegades could still take some satisfaction in how nervous they made the Simcoe Storm.
After Christian Babb scored for Woodstock with only 1:35 left on the clock, the Renegades mounted one last final, frantic push, wanting that equalizer and at least one point from the night's efforts. The Renegades had chances -- two or three good ones in that final minute -- but Simcoe goalie Chris Lee, an ex- Renegade, frustrate his former team.
"It was a little too close for comfort," Simcoe coach Zane Neily Sr. said. "(Woodstock)'s goalie played very well. He really stepped up for them. Chris played fantastic too.
"It was a goaltenders' duel and luckily we came out with the win."
It was fitting, then, that Simcoe's game-winner was one of the prettiest goals of the Niagara Junior C League season. Scored by Zane Neily Jr. midway through the third, the goal was the result of a nice give and go with Jordan Paton -- another former OHLer -- that drew out Woodstock goalie Alex Gegeny.
"It was one of the nicest goals you'll see," coach Neily said. "That line really stepped it up when we put them together in the second period. We definitely had to look for our offence tonight. We had to move some players around."
For a team that usually doesn't have to "look" for goals -- Simcoe boasts the top three scorers in the league -- Friday night was a struggle. Gegeny was sharp for the Renegades, particularly in the first four minutes of the game when Simcoe looked unstoppable. His play in that first few minutes kept his club in the game.
"Our goalie played great tonight," Woodstock's Ethan Doan said after the game. "I feel that we let him down. We always get off to a slow start and we've got to change that.
"We could have worked a little harder," Doan said. "We've got some little things we've got to work on."
Paton opened the scoring early in the first, momentarily deflating a Woodstock team that had just started finding its pace. The Renegades, though, responded about a minute later when Cole Maher knocked in a power-play goal to even things up.
Simcoe resumed the lead late in the second period when Phil Bethune, who was almost standing in the net, finished a pass from Tyler Norrie.
The Renegades rebounded from Friday's disappointment with a 6-5 win against the Paris Mounties that was marked by a fast-paced seven-goal second period.
The key to the Woodstock win was a trio of goals from Travis Parkin, Calvin Thomson and Travis Horvath in the middle of the middle frame. That two-minute outburst was enough to give the Renegades a one-goal edge going into the scoreless third period.
Devon Young and Horvath opened the Woodstock scoring in the first period while Dan Phillips notched a short-hander in the opening seconds of the second. Scott Graf and Greg Chevreau both scored twice for the Mounties while Drew Priestap rounded out the Paris scoring.
For the fifth straight game, manager Bill McLeod remained the only "coach" on the bench for the Renegades. When asked about head coach Dave McLaren's absence, Doan didn't have an answer.
"Bill is our coach right now," Doan said. "For the last few games, he's been on the bench alone. Obviously, it's tough for him to run the whole show, but I think he's doing a good job and he's getting a lot of help from the players."
With the weekend split, the Renegades move to a 9-8-3 record, leaving them three points ahead of New Hamburg for third place in the league's west division. The Renegades' next game is in Norwich at 8 p.m. against the league-leading Merchants.