Goals 29 seconds apart early third period turn a 2-1 deficit into a 3-2 lead on
way to a 4-2 win and an eight point lead in the PJHL Yeck Division
Thursday, January 17, 2019
By Rob J. Ross
DORCHESTER - The Dorchester Dolphins are firmly in the driver's seat to clinch first place.
Noah Small and Nolan Blewett scored 28 seconds apart three minutes into the third period, turning a 2-1 deficit into a 3-2 Dolphins' lead against the Exeter Hawks, on their way to a 4-2 win and improving their record to 29-6-0-0, in the Proveincial Junior Hockey League Yeck Division.
"Steele's (head coach Mark Steele) came in pretty heavy saying we didn't move our feet. We weren't playing the greatest but from the good help from Waller, bailing us out a couple times, we came around to rally," said defenceman James Newland, who picked up assists on both Blewett goals. "It feels good to win, key points moving towards the playoffs."
With five games remaining on the schedule, Dorchester has an eight point cushion over Exeter. Five more points gives the Dolphins top spot, even the Hawks win their remaining games.
Matt Waller made 42 saves and the Dolphins' goalie kept his team in the game after the Hawks jumped out to a 2-0 lead by the nine minute mark of the third period.
"He's been playing amazing. He's been winning most of these games for us," said Newland on his goalie. "We like to say it's all skill but not without him between the pipes."
Waller has a division best 15 wins and owns a 2.76 goals against average and .910 save percentage.
Braidon Duncan cut the Hawks' lead in half by the end of the opening period. Blewett added an empty netter with seconds left in the third period.
Blewett leads the Dolphins with 28 goals and 25 assists. The 21-year old is one goal behind Lucan's Dillon Saunders for the division lead and five points back of Exeter's Jon Baker for the scoring title.
Ryan Root sits tied sixth in division scoring with 42 points while Dylan Buckholz is tied ninth with 41 points.
"The first period was a little rough. They got a quick one off of the power play and scored a weak one from the corner, but the guys bounced back," said Waller. "As the game went on, we started picking it up, and the guys came out in the third period and scored. It was a good team win. Exeter is a really good team. They have some power forwards and a good D core, so you can't take them lightly or they'll run you over."
Waller returned to Dorchester this season following a year with the Lambeth Lancers, where he helped the team advance to the Ontario Hockey Association Schmalz Cup semifinals.
For the 20-year old his highlights remain from his two previous seasons with the Dolphins, winning back to back Yeck championships with the Dolphins, including the season the team went 39-0-1.
"I feel like I never should have left. I feel like I'm playing with confidence right now. Everything about Dorchester community is amazing. To play here is awesome," said Waller. "But it was special what we did in Lambeth."
Dorchester hits the road this weekend for stops at Mt. Brydges and North Middlesex.
The Sunday matinee against the North Middlesex Stars gives the Dolphins a challenge of not being swept in the season series. The Stars have handed the Dolphins four of their six losses.
"That'll be a victory if we win that one, because they have just out worked us every game," said Newland. "They don't stop working no matter what the score is. We seem to get stage fright against them."