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Dolphins shutout first place Hawks

 Dolphins shutout first place Hawks


   Dorchester extends their win streak to three game shelling Exeter, 7-0,

   avenging a pair of earlier shutout losses to the first place team



  February 26, 2022


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By Rob. J. Ross 

DORCHESTER, Ont. - The Dorchester Dolphins are rounding in to shape in time for the playoffs.

Seven different players bulged the twine, as the Dolphins thumped the first place Exeter Hawks, 7-0, for a third straight win.

Dorchester sits third in the Provincial Junior Hockey League Yeck Division, one point up on Thamesford, with both teams having one game remaining in the regular season.

Quinn Wenger started the offensive assault two minutes in to the game and the Dolphins led 3-0 after one period. The home side doubled the count in the second period, when they ended the night for Hawks' goalie Tim Kerkhoff, after the fifth goal.

"Tonight they were going in," said Jakob Marche, who scored his team leading 16th goal of the season. "We got the bounces tonight. We've been kind of fighting it all year, but we got our bounces tonight."

Silencing the Hawks avenged two previous meetings, that the Dolphins were blanked on both occasions.

"That's huge. It's real big for us and our confidence," Marche said.

Curtis Nogueira, Josh Short, Braidon Duncan, Dylan Van Dusen and Isaac Sturgeon, completed the goal scoring. Duncan, Austin Connors and Michael Cecchi, each picked up two assists.

Dorchester's Jackson Mailloux was the busier goalie, however, making 44 saves for the shutout.

"Jack was standing on his head the whole game. That was real nice," said Marche. "Jack has been keeping us in the games."

Mailloux also picked up an assist on the Sturgeon goal.

"It was a big turn out for us. Even stepping up from last game. We are taking big steps every game. We are hitting our plays," said Mailloux. "First period we were giving it. I barely had any shots. The team was giving it, even into the last seconds."

Dorchester has three wins in a row for the first time since winning 10 straight, back in October.

"The buy in to what we've been preaching since the start of the year," Dolphins' coach Chris Masse explained. "We've been riddled with injuries and the suspensions. Then getting everybody back and getting everybody comfortable playing with each other. Now they're really starting to buy in. We even see them practice the system we're trying to do. They're starting to do it and it's starting to pay off."

The Dolphins killed off all four Hawks' power plays.

"Very impressed with the penalty kill tonight," said Masse. "Our penalty kill was not very good at the beginning of the year. It was great tonight. Jackson has been awesome in net the last three games."

Exeter out shot the Dolphins, 44-22.

"The shot difference is something that we will be working on," acknowledged Masse. "We are getting peppered in shots. Lately that has been the theme. Everybody has out shot us and that's something we have to fix up."

Seven goals for is the most since the Dolphins potted eight against Lucan, Oct. 30.

"That's what we've known we had. We have enough talent that anybody can contribute at any time for scoring goals," Masse said. "If we can get them (players) doing all the defensive side of the puck, off the puck and playing off the puck, we know we will get chances."

Marche leads the Dolphins with 31 points. Short has 27 points in 23 games. Dylan Vandersleen has a team high 17 assists.

The Dolphins finish at Lucan Sunday. Thamesford finishes at Port Stanley, March 5.

Notes: Exeter was without top scorer, Jaeden French, who leads the Hawks with 23 goals and 38 points. Playoffs will begin the second week in March. Being the first place team, Exeter has the option for a first round bye. Dorchester will likely face Thamesford, but perhaps North Middlesex. Dorchester owns the second best power play in the entire PJHL, at fifty per cent. The Dolphins with 602 minutes, are the most penalized team in the Yeck Division. League stats have the Dolphins' penalty kill at a success rate of only 37.5, but up from 34.2 per cent from a week earlier.