A great opening line

Wolves top trio combines for 13 points in season opener

If you played on the Ripley Wolves top line, you had a good Saturday night.

Ripley goaltender Kurt Edwards stops a Tim Dwinnell backhander Saturday night in Walkerton as defenceman Corey McCrae looks on. Dwinnell had a goal in the game, but Edwards made 33 stops for the win. (Walkerton Capitals photo)

Ripley’s top unit, featuring two former league scoring champs in Travis Van Gaver and Nick Locking, combined for 13 points and was in on all six goals as the Wolves downed the Walkerton Capitals 6-5 on the road. It was Ripley's first WOAA Senior AA game of the season.

With Kurtis Colling gone, the Wolves placed newcomer Sebastien Garneau with the duo, and Garneau responded with a four-point night. Locking also had four points, while Van Gaver had five points in an entertaining, back-and-forth game.

Ripley led the game 3-2 after one, but trailed 5-4 after two periods. The Wolves tied the game on a power play just 38 seconds into the third. Locking, coming off a 29-goal season, then scored the game winning goal with 6:40 remaining in the game.

Darren Gavey had the other Ripley goal, while assists went to Brock Lowry, Nathan Gavey and goaltender Kurt Edwards, who set up Van Gaver for a second period breakaway.

Former Toronto Maple Leaf Nathan Perrott had a hat trick for the Capitals, who are now 0-2 on the season. Jason Zister had a shorthanded goal while Kincardine native Tim Dwinnell scored on a hard snapper that went off the post and in. Luke Snider had two assists for Walkerton, while Mitch Allen, Andy Cline, Josh Smith and Josh Howald each had one helper.

Edwards was solid in goal, stopping 33 shots for the win. Jason Hamilton made 32 saves in the Walkerton net.

Former Bulldogs Devin Kemp and Alex McLeod were solid in their Senior AA debut, while Lee Herbert and Joe Bowers have also signed with the Wolves. Jeremy McQuillin is playing, but was not in the line-up Saturday night. Corey McCrae, Kyle Gallant, Chad Colling, Shea Armstrong and Blair Pollock were all in the line-up, but Kurtis Colling, Curtis Schmalz, Mitch Twolan, Matt Willis and Mike Eadie will not suit up for Ripley this season.

Friday night, the Wolves will host Durham for the club’s home opener at 8:30 p.m. The Thundercats, who lost to Shallow Lake 7-4 Saturday night, will be in town for a rematch of last year’s intense WOAA AA quarter-final series.

In the only other WOAA North Division game, Brent McDermid had a hat trick for Saugeen Shores as the Winterhawks edged out Shallow Lake 8-7 Friday night.

In the South Division, Petrolia picked up a pair of wins, beating Clinton 5-4 and Goderich 4-2. Monkton beat Thedford 5-1, but lost to Tavistock 4-3 in a shootout. Milverton hammered Tillsonburg 10-3 and Lucan beat Thedford by the same score. The other game saw Tavistock edge out Clinton 3-2.