Big Bulldog win over Wingham


By Josh Howald


In team sports, silence is rarely golden. More often than not, it's deadly.



Sam Feagan throws a hit Friday night in a 7-5 Kincardine win over the Wingham Ironmen. (Richard Lawson photo)


And the Nicol Insurance Kincardine Bulldogs dressing room was a noisy spot on the weekend.


The Bulldogs, on the heels of three straight losses to the Walkerton Hawks, came out flying Friday night and turned in debatably the team's best performance of the year.


Kincardine was banging, scoring, hooting, hollering and smiling Friday night in a 7-4 win over the high flying Wingham Ironmen.


In other words, they had fun - which there hasn't been an overabundance of thus far. Kincardine was supposed to be contending at the top of the league, but is currently fourth overall with a 7-10-2 record, nine points behind the third place Mitchell Hawks. Having lost five of their last six games, the players decided things needed to change at a players-only meeting Friday night prior to the Wingham game.


"I think it is going to be the turning point of the season," said Bulldogs captain Brett Catto, who scored once and had two helpers in the 7-4 win. "We were excited to play and it showed."


Catto said the players have made a few changes in the way they prepare for a game, and have accepted the 'Dogs are at their best when playing a grinding, tough brand of hockey.


"Even after goals or big hits, (Friday night) you could tell the guys on the bench were enjoying it," he said. "It was an awesome game to be a part of."


After Wingham's Ryan McNeil had opened the scoring three minutes after the puck had dropped, Tanner Simpson found Shawn Moore, who evened the score with his ninth goal of the year. One minute and nine seconds later, Cody Britton scored his ninth of the season with help from Catto and Lucas Johsnon.


A wild second period saw the teams combine for six goals. Moore and Ethan Skinner assisted on a Simpson goal in the first minute of the period. But Wingham tied the game with goals from Travis Donaldson and Aaron Armstrong. Armstrong's 23rd goal of the season marked his 60th point of the year, in just 18 games.


Catto put the 'Dogs back in front with his 15th goal at 9:46 from Jamie Miller. Just 10 seconds later,


Simpson scored his second goal of the night from Britton to make it 5-3 for Kincardine That was the end of Jaden Shrier's night. The Wingham goaltender was replaced by Kincardine native Keegan Woodman. Shier left with 15 stops. Brett Brophy made it a one-goal game with an unassisted tally with three minutes left in the period.


The third period was all 'Dogs. Kincardine peppered Woodman with rubber, outshooting the Ironmen 20-9 in the third period and 41-30 overall.


Call-up Ethan Skinner scored two minutes in to give Kincardine some breathing room. Brock Pinnell and Britton assisted on the power play goal. Johnson put the Ironmen away for good when he made it 7-4 with 10:25 to play. Britton and Catto each assisted on the goal.


Mitch Campbell made 26 saves for his fourth win of  the year. Shrier is tagged with the loss. Woodman allowed two goals on 21 shots in relief.


"We're a tough team to play when we're taking bodies and grinding down low," said Catto. "We just need to do it all the time."


Kincardine was scheduled to host Mitchell on Saturday night, but weather conditions postponed that game. The game between Mount Forest and Walkerton Saturday night was also called off. There was only one other game in the West on the weekend, and that was Friday night between Hanover and Walkerton. The suddenly dangerous Barons again defeated the first place Walkerton Hawks, this time in regulation. Drew Davidson tied the game for Walkerton with 2:21 remaining, but Denver Hill scored for Hanover with just five seconds left on the clock to give the Barons a 6-5 win on home ice.


Hanover will be in Wingham Friday night, and come to Kincardine Saturday night to face the Bulldogs. It's Kincardine's only game of the weekend, and the puck drops at 7 p.m. at the Davidson Centre.


Elsewhere this weekend, Mount Forest is in Walkerton Friday night and the Ironmen visit the Patriots on Saturday.


Don't miss next week's Independent, where you can meet the Bulldogs with our special feature page.


UPDATE: The Mitchell - Kincardine game that was postponed Saturday night due to the weather has now been rescheduled. It will be played tomorrow night (Friday, Nov. 29) at 8:30 p.m. at the Davidson Centre in Kincardine.