Tuesday, December 29th, 2009
Gades drop sixth straight to Storm
The Woodstock Renegades proved they could beat most teams in the Niagara Junior C League this season.
The Simcoe Storm was not among them.
Woodstock dropped all six games to its division rival, losing 8-4 to the Storm Sunday night. It capped a disappointing stretch against the Storm, who out-scored Woodstock 36-20 during its six games.
"They're going to score a lot of goals on you no matter what you do," Woodstock captain Cole Maher told the Simcoe Reformer.
Woodstock (12-11-4) slipped closer to .500 and, thanks to New Hamburg's 4-2 win over Norwich Sunday afternoon, sit only three points ahead of the Firebirds for third place in the Niagara West division.
The Renegades trail Simcoe by 18 points and are 16 behind Norwich.
"Our game has to be a lot more physical," Maher said. "We have to begin forcing other teams to make mistakes. The more we hit them, the more they will give up the puck."
Maher added that taking Simcoe down in 2010 is going to be a tall order because the team is "gifted offensively."
Simcoe has notched 160 goals this campaign, 32 more than Norwich and 48 more than Dundas, which is the highest scoring club in the East Division.
Before a crowd of 387 Sunday at Talbot Gardens, the Storm opened up a 4-1 lead against Woodstock by the end of 20 minutes and cruised to two points and, with it, sole possession of first place in the Niagara West.
Storm coach Zane Neily Sr. didn't like the cruising part. The Storm mailed it in during the second period and allowed the Renegades back into the game with the only goal of the period.
"We took the second period off," Neily said. "When they put their backup goalie in, I think our guys figured it was game over. Then the little things start to happen. You start losing the foot races for the loose pucks. That sort of thing."
The letdown also didn't go over well with the Storm's big forward Mike Mazurek. A Storm alumnus from a few seasons back, Mazurek has been moonlighting in Simcoe when the Brantford Golden Eagles -- the defending Ontario Junior B Sutherland Cup champions -- do not require his services.
In two games with the Storm so far -- both against Woodstock -- Mazurek has registered eight points. Sunday, he was good for three goals, two assists and a pep talk during the second intermission that got his teammates rolling again.
Mazurek, who serves an enforcer role in Brantford and has seen limited ice time this season, scolded his teammates for their lack of hustle.
"You're only as good as your last shift," Mazurek said. "You have only 30 seconds to show what you got. If you're not going to give everything you've got while you're out there, stay on the bench."
By virtue of the win, Simcoe improved its record to 22-3-2 for 46 points.
Also scoring for Simcoe Sunday was Zane Neily Jr., Jon Conrad, Justin Prittie, Phil Bethune and Brock Smith. Scoring for Woodstock was Tyler Labadie, Craig Thomson, Maher and Dan Phillips.
Mitchell Bleskie made 45 saves for Woodstock, which fired 46 shots at former Renegade Chris Lee.
Woodstock hosts New Hamburg tonight for a rare midweek game. Puck drop is 7:30 p.m. at Southwood Arena.