Tuesday, October 05th, 2010


Navy Vets taking their lumps with 4th straight loss


No one can say with certainty where rock bottom exists for the Woodstock Navy Vets, but the Niagara Junior C hockey team can't fall much further.

The Navy Vets suffered their fourth straight loss to open the season this weekend following an ugly 11-2 defeat in New Hamburg. The Firebirds toyed with the young Navy Vets, building a 5-0 lead after the first period and cruising to their league-leading fourth win in six games.

"Guys still aren't taking the coaching staff seriously when we tell them to be ready to play," Navy Vets head coach Jeff Morrison said. "They learned after the first period you have to play outside of the defensive zone if you don't want to be scored on."

Morrison warned that it would take time for this group to mature, and so far he's been proven correct. In four losses, the Navy Vets have been out-scored 26-6 -- worse when you factor in their 2-1 season-opening loss to Paris.

"Put 15 rookies on any squad and there's going to be problems," Morrison said. "There's not really concern offensively. The defensive play, they haven't learned yet that you have to play defence at this level."

The Firebirds have feasted on the Navy Vets inexperience, scoring 18 goals against Woodstock in back-to-back games.

Friday's game fell apart quickly as the Firebirds scored two goals within 11 seconds before the first period was two minutes old.

Mike D'Alosio, Kory Nowak, Kyle Mohr, Taylor Wood, James Graham, Trevor Sweetland (with two) and Russ Soehner staked the Firebirds to an 8-0 lead and chased starting goalie Neil Pittock in the second period. Trevor Neabel replaced him.

"It was no fault of the goalies," Morrison said. "They're the only ones who played well."

Woodstock's Adison Alexander scored his second goal of the season to spoil Adam Frye's shutout. A lone highlight was Dylan Lazarus's first junior hockey goal with nine second remaining in the middle frame to make it 8-2.

Mohr, D'Alosio and Blake Jordan scored in the third period to complete the Firebirds' scoring.

The Navy Vets failed to close the gap despite having eight power plays. Woodstock's 0-for-8 dropped the team's success rate to 7.5% (3-for-40).

New Hamburg, meanwhile, is scoring at an incredible pace. In six games, the Firebirds have netted 42 goals. Four players are already in double-digit points, while Wood has 10 goals in six games, including three more in New Hamburg's 10-5 win Saturday over the Dunnville Terriers.

Woodstock's game against Norwich Saturday was postponed because of the tragic death of Merchants' defenceman Ben Pearson, so the Navy Vets will have to wait until this Friday's game at Southwood Arena against Dunnville to turn things around. Game time is 7:45 p.m.