Monday, October 18th, 2010


Navy Vets glass half full


It's been a tough start for the Woodstock Navy Vets, who earned their first point Friday in a 6-5 shootout loss to Paris before suffering a 14-6 defeat last night in Simcoe.

Woodstock's Kyle Morris scored with 3:38 remaining in the third period to tie the game 5-5 Friday against Paris, but the Navy Vets couldn't convert in overtime and were outscored 2-1 in the shootout. The Navy Vets remain in last place with an 0-7-1 record.

"We played really well," Navy Vets captain Devon Young said. "This is a team you have to look at the positives. We had a lot of positives. We're not getting the breaks that everyone else is getting. We're playing a lot better defensively and our transition game was good tonight."

Woodstock's seventh loss of the season was perhaps its toughest to swallow. The Navy Vets held three leads -- one in each period -- but watched Paris rally to tie the game each time. Young insisted the players have remained upbeat despite the long losing streak.

"It's tough when you have a lot of rookies," he said. "There are a lot of mood swings. We blew (three) leads but we came back and got a goal and didn't stop working. A lot of these guys are used to playing 45-minute games (in rep hockey) so the last 15 minutes are the toughest."

Woodstock held leads of 1-0, 2-1 and 4-3 against Paris, the same team that beat Woodstock in the season opener last month. The Mounties scored twice in the third period Friday to take their second lead. Nick Brimmer drove to the net to convert a power-play goal, while Morgan Spratt's wrist shot from inside the blue-line eluded Navy Vets goalie Trevor Neable and hit the post before going in. It was a fluky goal but one the Navy Vets can't afford to allow, especially in a game in which their offence explodes for five goals.

Andy Liboiron, Dylan Barnell and Zach Jones had the other Paris goals.

"Our defensive zone coverage is something we have to work on like most other teams," Young said. "If you can protect your own end you can play with any team."

Derek Cowing scored twice, increasing his team-leading total to four. Young, Brynn Shultz and Morris, whose backhand late in the third beat fallen Mounties goalie Stephen Palenik, also scored.

"They competed. The last couple of games have been better," Young said. "We're proud and not happy with our record but we're happy with the effort. We won battles for the puck ... and we're not going to sit back and take loss after loss."

The Navy Vets will head to Paris next weekend and Dundas the following week. Woodstock will return home Saturday, Oct. 30 to host unbeaten Grimsby. By then the Navy Vets might have collected their first win. For now, one point is a start.

"The first point is always important," Young said. "We're not happy (with the loss) but our record is not as important. Everyone makes the playoffs. We want to be a good team come playoff s."