‘Being the one scoring the points doesn’t really matter to me. All that matters to me is we get the win,’ said Mason Beck who scored twice in Orillia’s home ice win
The McLean & Dickey Orillia Terriers were put to the test on Saturday night. They were up against one of the best teams in the Provincial Junior Hockey League’s (PJHL) North Carruthers Division, the Alliston Hornets.
Just over six minutes into the first period the Terriers looked to have had a penalty shot try when forward Ty Snelleman was tripped up by a Hornets defenceman on a breakaway. Instead, Terriers’ rookie forward Caden Carroll picked up the loose puck and shoved it past goaltender Parker Barnard for his team-leading eighth tally of the year.
Nearly seven minutes later, Terriers’ forward Marcus Petroff moved a Hornets defender off the puck on the left side of the offensive zone, then chased the frozen biscuit to the right side, and shipped it over to a wide-open Aiden Randell for the first goal of his PJHL career, putting the home side up 2-0.
“It was a cool moment,” Randell said. “After the game I got the puck given to me in the locker room and the boys were hyped up.”
The Terriers were poised to get out of the impressive period without incident until a bad bounce off the boards sent the puck cross-crease to Hornets forward Cole Turcotte who put it just out of the reach of goaltender Jude Rondina with three seconds remaining in the opening frame. The Terriers went into the break leading 2-1.
The Terriers were the first to the scoreboard in the second period when Carroll found defenceman Mason Beck from behind the net. Carroll put the puck on Beck’s tape out front, and he fired it home to make the score 3-1.
The Hornets responded two minutes later when Turcotte entered the Terriers’ zone with speed, beat his defender to the far side, and tucked it by Rondina in front of the crease to make it 3-2.
Less than a minute later a Hornets forward tried to enter the Terriers’ zone with his head down before he was met by six-foot-four defenceman Kaden Washkurak who levelled him to the ice. Beck would pick up the loose puck, dangled his way into the Hornets’ zone, and scored his second of the night, making the score 4-2.
“I saw my opportunity and I took it,” Washkurak said. “It was a good hit, and it created a goal. I’ll do anything to help out the team.”
Beck says his two-goal night “got the boys fired up.”
“Being the one scoring the points doesn’t really matter to me,” he said. “All that matters to me is we get the win.”
The Hornets kept things close by returning the favour three minutes later. Hornets’ forward Josh Presley snuck one in tight between Rondina’s pad and the post to make it 4-3 just moments after Terriers’ forward Brady McLaren had finished serving a high sticking penalty.
Midway through the final period, while on the power play, Terriers’ forward Noah Mountain looked to have scored a beautiful spinorama goal from in tight, but the officials called it back, stating that Barnard had knocked the net from its crease before the puck had crossed the line.
On the next Terriers’ rush, captain Dylan Palomaki found an open area in the slot where he fired one past Barnard bar down, but the opposing netminder had knocked the net off again. The officials ruled no goal once more but sent the Terriers to the power play for delay of game.
“There is no doubt that our emotions were definitely flying,” Palomaki said. “Having two goals back-to-back called off on the same power play was tough but we rebounded quickly.”
Unfortunately for the home side, they were unable to capitalize on the power play try and finished the game 1-for-6 with the man advantage. However, the Terriers locked the Hornets down defensively the rest of the way and Devon Edmonds officially called game when he added the empty netter to give the Terriers the 5-3 victory.
“It’s a huge win for us,” Palomaki said. “The head-to-head records are important for playoff positioning.”
The Terriers outshot their opponents 41-38 on Saturday night. Beck says team morale is high coming off the win.
“It’s a big win all around,” he said. “I know it’s early, but it gives us a good chance for playoff spots when it all comes down to the wire.”
The Terriers have improved their record to 4-1-0 on the young season. Palomaki hopes the Terriers can ride their early season success the rest of the way.
“We have to keep building and working as a team,” he said. “We have to keep building piece by piece every time we come to the rink.”
The Terriers will return home next Saturday, Oct. 14 to take on the Stayner Siskins. Game time is 7:30 p.m. at Rotary Place.