The forward scores with four minutes left in the third period for a 4-3 victory
as Aylmer wins again at Dorchester in PJHL action
Friday, October 25, 2019
By Rob J. Ross
DORCHESTER, ON. - Thus far in to the season the Aylmer Spitfires have got the better of their former head coach.
The Spitfires beat the Dorchester Dolphins for a second time in the Provincial Junior Hockey League season, with a 4-3 win, on a late goal by Luke Regier. Aylmer also won at Dorchester, 5-4, on October 4th.
The Dolphins peppered Spitfires' goalie Tim Kerkoff with 52 shots in the game, half of the total coming in the third period.
"We had lots of shots. I don't know if we were shooting right at him, but give credit to their goalie. But we have to capitalize more on our chances," said Dolphins' captain Brody Smith, who sat out the game, due to injury. "It's a stinger for sure, especially for our coach. We'll have to battle back and tie the series for him."
The Dolphins' bench boss, Mark Steele, who was 5-0 against his old team entering the season, felt a sluggish start and some players not appearing at all, contributed to their fourth loss in nine games.
"The guys weren't prepared mentally before the game. Aylmer came out flying and we were flat. We have got off to many slow starts this year and we wait to go play catch up. You can't turn it on and off in this league," Steele said. "The younger guys are having a hard time buying in and it shows in some of our results. The vets are carrying the load and there should be more responsibility from the new guys to take some of that load."
Aylmer held leads of 2-0 and 3-1 before the Dolphins knotted the affair at three, with a pair of Dylan Buckholz goals in the first two minutes of the third period. Braidon Duncan, also scored for the Dolphins.
The Spitfires improve to 7-5-0-0, fourth place in the Yeck Division.
"We were short-staffed so to come in and get the two points was huge for us. There have been a couple games where we have been short staffed and we got destroyed, so we were really proud of the kids tonight," Spitifires' head coach Bryan Rose said. "We have a great line-up, but with injuries and suspensions, other than a couple games we haven't seen it."
Brayden Smith put the Spitfires up 2-0, by the eight minute mark of the first period, with his sixth and seventh goals of the season, in seven games, since the Aylmer native returned from the St. Thomas Stars.
Peter Vanderwyst, in his first game back from a two game suspension, made it 3-2 Spitfires in the last minute of the first period. The game winner was a Myles Carlson shot that happened to deflect off Regier's skate.
"Those were in the ones in the blowouts that were going against us, so it's nice to finally have one go our way. A couple of them were like that. We'll take it," said Rose.
Special teams are an area the Spitfires will aim to improve over the next 10 game stretch. The Spits rank sixth on the power play in the division and seventh on the penalty kill.
"Our power play we definitely have to get that rolling. Once we get everybody back, I think it will. It wasn't pretty (against Dorchester) and we didn't get a lot of zone time either," Rose said. "We got to stay out of the box. We kill ourselves that way. That is something we have to work on."
Coach Steele wants his team to replicate their performance against the Thamesford Trojans, a 6-3 road win, October 22nd.
"We had a great game against Thamesford. We played awesome. Everything you can ask for as a coach," said Steele. "We do all the little things right and then we come in (versus Aylmer) and it's like we forgot what got us to be successful."
PJHL Propect's Day
Several Dolphins, Spitfires and Port Stanley Sailors, born in 2002 and 2003, played in one of the four games during the PJHL Prospect's Day, at the Wilmot Community Centre, in Baden.
Representing the Dolphins were forwards Caden Faulkner and Josh Short and defenceman Tristan Gerth.
Spitfires were goalie Tim Kerkoff and forwards Josiah Van Gurp and Theoren Morrison.
The Sailors had defenceman Eddie Burlock and forwards Liam Hepburn, Chase Coffin and Anthony Albert.