By Josh Howald
It didn’t have much of a start, but man, what a finish.
Wendel Cameron pesters Gatlin Burt on this Drew Davidson one-timer Friday night. (Josh Howald photo)
The Caruthers Nicol Insurance Kincardine Bulldogs were dumped on home ice by the Walkerton Hawks Friday night. Things weren’t looking good in Mount Forest on Saturday night either, but the Bulldogs scored six third period goals – three in the final three minutes – to force overtime, which captain Brett Catto ended after just 17 seconds.
Catto’s overtime winner for his seventh point of the game.
“(The Patriots) were breaking out, and (Cody) Britton stripped the D-man of the puck and fired a cross-crease pass that I put in,” said Catto.
“We came off an emotionally draining game Friday night, and were sluggish to start Saturday. But every guy showed a lot of guts in the third period, and good things happened.”
Dave Culliton and Dean Nixon scored first period goals for Mount Forest, and Catto got the ‘Dogs on the board early in the second. The Patriots scored the next three goals – two of them coming on the power play. Doug Ardis had an unassisted tally before Ben Davis and Mitch Betts scored on man advantages to make it a 5-1 game. Catto scored a PP marker for the ‘Dogs to make it 5-2, but the Pats regained a four-goal lead heading to the third period on a Garet Kaufman goal.
The Bulldogs scored three straight goals to make it 6-5, but the Patriots scored twice in two minutes to make it 8-5 with less than seven minutes left. Brodie Smith had two for Kincardine, and Gerrit Satosek one before Jon Aitken and Davis each scored for the hosts.
Catto completed the hat trick to make it 8-6 at 18:23, the set up Jared Colling to make it 8-7 just 14 seconds later. With the goalie pulled, Catto then assisted on Garrett Simmons’ game tying goal to force the extra period.
Just 17 seconds later, Britton set up Catto for the win.
Catto finished with three goals and four assists. Britton, who had a six-goal game last weekend, had six assists on this night. Simmons had a four-point night, as did Smith. Kincardine’s Paul Boyadjian was handed his first loss of the season, allowing all nine goals on 33 shots. Gatlin Burt left this game in the second period, and Justin Hammond got credit for the win.
“We made a heck of a comeback and the boys were fired up and excited,” said head coach Jeff Alcombrack. “We have to take that energy into next weekend and keep improving every game.”
The next game is another big one against Walkerton. It will mark the third straight weekend the two teams have met, with Kincardine taking a shootout win two weeks ago. On Friday night at the Davidson Centre, the Hawks took a 5-2 win.
“I thought the boys played well Friday and we were outplaying the Hawks, knocking them all over the ice,” said Alcombrack.
“Their goalie (Jeff Flagler) played a solid game, and we gave them a chance with too many penalties.”
At the other end, Gatlin Burt was phenomenal in goal for several minutes of shorthanded pressure in the third, but was eventually beaten on cross-ice, or screened, plays with the ‘Dogs short.
Drew Davidson gave the Hawks a 1-0 lead with the first period’s only goal. Jordan Turcotte and Jay Thomson each scored for a 3-0 lead. Turcotte’s was a power play goal, while Thomson’s goal was a shorthanded effort. Simmons broke Flagler’s goose egg with a power play goal from Catto and Hayden Allen to make it a 3-1 game after two periods. Colling made it 3-2 four minutes into the third, before the ‘Dogs were assessed eight straight minor penalties that sealed their fate.
So expect another tight game this weekend.
“We’re playing well for where we’re at in the season,” said Alcombrack. “But there is always room for improvement. The kids have the right attitude this year, and we’re happy to move forward and see what we can do.”
Elsewhere in the Western Junior C League on the weekend, Wingham defeated Mitchell 8-4, Hanover dumped Goderich 6-1, Mtichell beat the Barons 4-2, and in the first taste of interleague play this season, Lucan needed a shootout to beat the Goderich Sailors.
After Friday night’s game in Walkerton, the Bulldogs will host the Barons for an 8 p.m. start at the Davidson Centre Saturday night.