Friday, October 15th, 2010


Not all doom and gloom for Navy Vets


It's not all doom and gloom for the Woodstock Navy Vets.

Sure, the Junior C team is without a win after six games and has struggled to prevent goals, but this season is not about finishing first in the Niagara West Division. Woodstock head coach Jeff Morrison spoke optimistically before the season about being a top-three team, but the focus is now on individual improvement that will ultimately lead to team success.

Besides, since the new playoff format was instilled with no hurt feelings and no teams missing the playoffs, the regular season has become a 36-game exhibition schedule.

Opposing teams have out-scored Woodstock 36-13, but the Navy Vets allowed just two goals in a season-opening 2-1 loss to the Paris Mounties. The Mounties are 3-3 and are back at Southwood Arena tonight at 7:45 p.m.

Woodstock goaltender Neil Pittock was outstanding in that game, and if he gets the start tonight the Navy Vets have as good shot to snap their ugly losing streak.

For that to happen, however, the team will need more offence. The Navy Vets have averaged slightly more than two goals per game, which isn't going to cut it in this league.

Kyle Robertson, Chase Thornton, Derek Cowing and Spencer Sweazy are all tied with four points after six games.

Following tonight's game, the Navy Vets travel to Simcoe Sunday to face the fifth-place Storm at 7 p.m.

In Norwich, the Merchants face the Aylmer Spitfires tonight at 8 p.m. Norwich is coming off a weekend split, having suffered a shootout loss to New Hamburg Friday on Ben Pearson Night, before defeating Paris Saturday.

Both the Merchants and Firebirds are tied atop the division with 11 points, but Norwich has played two fewer games.

Norwich has allowed a league-best 10 goals in six games. Matt McGonigle has a miniscule 0.98 goals-against average, while sporting a .961 save percentage.

Curtis Logan leads the team with six goals and four assists.

Norwich and Aylmer will finish the home-and-home Saturday in Aylmer.