Monday, December 13th, 2010


Navy Vets home streak ends at three


WOODSTOCK -The Woodstock Navy Vets knew they would be hard pressed to extend their home winning streak to four games.

With a Saturday night game against the Niagara District Junior C Hockey League's best team, the Navy Vets needed an exceptional effort to continue their recent turnaround. Instead, it was a fired-up Norwich Merchants that showed the exceptional effort, shelling the last-place Navy Vets for a lopsided 9-0 win.

Led by Curtis Logan, who scored twice in the blowout, the Merchants took control of the game early and never relented. After first-period goals from Mike Rebry, Addison Fisher and Justin Lehmann gave Norwich an imposing lead, the Merchants actually picked up the pace. With unanswered goals from Jakob Schira, Drake Morrell, Todd Poirier and Logan in the middle frame, the Merchants all but finished the game.

The third-period goals from Cole Vinnai and Logan were more of an exclamation mark than anything else.

While the Navy Vets struggle with its special teams, failing to score on three power-play opportunities, the Merchants showed more poise, with Lehmann scoring shorthanded and Schira netting a power-play marker.

Still, the Navy Vets did have some chances in the game, recording 29 shots against the Merchants. Norwich goalie Matt McGonigle, though, showed why he leads the league in both save percentage and goals against average, and earned his third shutout of the season. Todd Kemp also shone in Saturday's game, notching four assists in the win.

The Navy Vets were much better in their Friday game against the Aylmer Spitfires, earning their third straight home win with a 5-2 decision.

Derek Cowing, who has emerged as Woodstock's top scorer, netted the game-winner early in the second period from Chase Thornton and Mackenzie Langford. Showing his consistency, Cowing scored his second on a third-period power play, giving his club a little extra cushion late in the game.

Chad Woodhouse opened the Navy Vet scoring on a first-period power play, prompting a shower of teddy bears for the teddy bear toss, while Langford, who had a four-point game, and Dylan Lazarus rounded out the Woodstock offence. Todd Laurindo and Mike Belanger answered for the fourth-place Spitfires, who ran into some penalty trouble late in the game.

Usually, arguing with the officials isn't a good idea.

With the weekend split, the Navy Vets gain a couple of points but are still in the west-division basement, trailing the fifth-place Mounties by four. Woodstock's next game is scheduled for Friday in New Hamburg against the second- place Firebirds.