It was another fun night to be in a hockey arena as we welcomed our fans back to the rink for a Saturday night matchup against the Tavistock Braves. Coming into the game on a high from Friday nights 10 – 3 win in Norwich, the Vets were looking to keep the good times rolling on home ice. Unfortunately, this weekend’s two games could not have been any more different. In what quickly became a high scoring shootout in Norwich had almost no similarities to the tightly contested game we saw last night.
It’s always interesting getting to see teams for the first time but this year takes that to a whole new level after having not played last season. That said, regardless of the massive turnover in rosters, some things really don’t change that much. The Tavistock Braves are a great example of this. Yet again, the Braves made the Vets work for everything and visa versa. The back and forth game saw chances at both ends while a goaltending duel took shape. Like witnessing Robbie Ray take on Gerrit Cole, Keaghan Brett and Jeffrey Kernichan refused to give in at either end. The stalemate lasted 20, then 40 and ultimately we came to the end of regulation still scoreless. While the Vets had multiple chances in 3-on-3 overtime, including a Caden Bower breakaway, it was Tavistock forward Ryan Donat that eventually broke through with a breakaway goal to win the game for the Braves.
At the end of the day, it simply felt like it wasn’t our night. Despite outshooting the Braves 35 to 23, the Vets just couldn’t solve Kernichan. But that’s hockey, right?
While not the storybook ending the Vets were looking for, there are a lot of positives to take out of the opening weekend including some lessons learned and areas to improve. But taking 3 of 4 possible points to start the season certainly can’t be seen as a failure.
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Special Congratulations to:
All of the rookies who not only played their first junior games but also held their own quite well throughout the weekend. Still a long way to go but they’ve certainly proven their worth already.
The Vets will get back to work on Tuesday night in preparation for next weekend’s Friday-Saturday homestand against Burford and Wellesley. We host the Burford Bulldogs on Friday night followed by the Wellesley Applejacks on Saturday.
Around the Doherty:
There were three games last night in the Doherty division. The Wellesley Applejacks made it a perfect weekend as they defeated the Norwich Merchants in their home opener by a score of 6 – 1. The Hespeler Shamrocks made their Doherty Division debut defeating the Burford Bulldogs by a score of 4 – 2.
A huge thankyou to all of our sponsors for getting us back on the ice. Also a big shout out to Domino’s pizza who gave pizza vouchers to all fans last night. Lastly, thank you to the city staff for helping us through these difficult and stressful times. We’ve still got improvements to make but it helps having great support as we stumble through our re-opening.
Fans are asked to get their tickets ahead of time. While we can process tickets at the gate, it will be a delayed process. Purchasing ahead of time ensures that we fulfill our requirements related to contact tracing while also creating long lines and delays.
To purchase tickets go to: http://woodstocknavyvets.eventbrite.com
Season tickets (flex passes) are also available at the above web address.