By Josh Howald
It was a fun couple of weeks, but Kincardine’s first-place run has come to an end.
Gatlin Burt and Walkerton's James Hennessy keep eyes on the puck as it bounces off a Kincardine defender Friday night at the Davidson Centre. The Bulldogs will be without Burt for the next four games. (Richard Lawson photo)
Friday night’s showdown at the Davidson Centre was close – for two periods. But Walkerton scored four third period goals, three of them in a six-minute span, for a 6-2 win. The Hawks scored two power play goals and two shorthanded goals in this contest, which was tied 1-1 after the first and took a nasty turn early in the third.
“We were selfish and it cost us big time,” said head coach Jeff Alcombrack. “If we want to be a good team we can’t have key guys acting stupid out there. We need to learn to suck it up.”
Former ‘Dog Cody Oehm gave the Hawks a 1-0 lead with a shorthanded goal, but Jared Colling evened the score less than two minutes later. Joel Alton assisted on the power play goal, Colling’s team best sixth of the season.
Chris Hardy took a double slashing minor late in the first period, and Adam Alexander made it 2-1 when the Hawks scored on the man advantage early in the second. It was the only goal of the second. Things took a turn for the worse four minutes into the third when Eric Lekun made it 3-1.
“He speared me right before he scored,” said Burt. “He started chirping as soon as he scored. I was lying on my back and swung up with my stick. They gave me intent to injure.”
Intent to injure carries an automatic four game suspension, and obviously came with a game ejection Friday night. Paul Boyadjian was forced into action, and was quickly beaten by Drew Davidson on the ensuing power play.
Andrew Graham then challenged captain Paul Stewart after a checking from behind call and took several punches for his valour. Justin Ainslie and Jake McLay also danced, and now will serve two- game suspensions for a second fight during a stoppage of play. Alex Legrand made it a 5-3 with a shorthanded marker from Ben Davis, but Walkerton added goals from Austin Russel and Mike Bujold to seal this game. The Hawks outshot Kincardine 45-23, and 31-16 in the first two periods.
“Walkerton is a good team,” said Alcombrack. “You give them second chances, you’re going to be in trouble. There’s a time and place to get a guy back, but that time isn’t a 3-1 hockey game. (Assistant coach) Kent (Liddle) and I are trying to teach these guys you have to think of the team first. If we’re smart and work together, we can play with anyone. If we play selfish we’ll be in trouble.”
In the Walkerton net, Kincardine's Keegan Woodman picked up his second win of the season and his first against his former teammates. He stopped 21 shots in this game, and has a save percentage of .899. Burt made 35 stops, and was tagged with the loss while Boyadjian allowed three goals on seven shots. Boyadjian will now hold the starting job for Kincardine until Nov. 11.
“I’m confident in Paul and the players have confidence in him,” said Alcombrack. “So this is his chance to step up and play the way we know he can.”
It won’t be easy. The next four games include two more meetings with Walkerton and one with the Mitchell Hawks. Burt’s last game will be served when Kincardine hosts Goderich on Remembrance Day.
Elsewhere around the Western loop on the weekend, the Mount Forest Patriots continue to put points on the board. After taking three of four possible points this weekend, Mount Forest posted its first two-win weekend in, well, a long time. Nathan Woodard scored the shootout winner against his former Hanover teammates in a 3-2 win Friday night. Saturday night the Patriots scored three third period goals to beat the Wingham Ironmen 5-3. Mitchell beat Wingham 5-3 Friday night, but lost 7-4 to Walkerton Saturday. The Barons defeated Goderich 4-1 Saturday night to put the Sailors at 0-12 on the season.
Kincardine has just one game this weekend, a Sunday rematch with the Walkerton Hawks. This game is in Walkerton at 4 p.m. There is just one game set for Friday, Walkerton at Wingham. Saturday night Mitchell will host Goderich while the Barons head to Wingham. Kincardine at Walkerton is one of three Sunday games. Mitchell hosts Mount Forest and the Sailors will travel to Hanover.