'Dogs create competition in crease

Weekend split for Kincardine

By Josh Howald

When the Nicol Insurance Kincardine Bulldogs acquired Mitch Campbell over the off-season, they didn't anticipate having to look for another goaltender.

Paul Boyadjian made 48 stops in his season debut, posting the win against his former Mount Forest teammates. (Richard Lawson photo)

No fault of Campbell - he hasn't played poorly. His numbers are essentially the same as the ones he posted last year with the Hanover Barons. For whatever reason, Kincardine needs a goalie to steal them games, and that hasn't happened. In any event, Kincardine signed Paul Boyadjian last week, a local boy who spent time with both the Bulldogs and the Mount Forest Patriots last season. They don't expect Boyadjian to take over the starting job, but they did bring him in to push Campbell and Tyler MacGregor to be better.

"It just makes for a little healthy competition with the three goalies we have," said captain Brett Catto on Monday morning.

Kincardine wasted no time throwing Boyadjian into the fire. He faced 50 shots Saturday night in his first game action of the season against the Patriots. He stopped 46 of those shots to post his first win of the year, a 7-4 victory in Mount Forest.

Despite allowing 50 shots, Kincardine was good in Mount Forest. They fired 48 shots themselves at the Mount Forest net, which suggests the official scorer at this game may have been a bit loose with the trigger finger. Ninety-eight shots is a lot in any hockey game.

In any event, Catto and Cody Britton each had five point performances to lead the 'Dogs to the win. Shawn Moore also had a four-point game.

Kincardine led 2-1 after the first period and 3-2 after two periods before scoring three goals in a seven-minute span in the third period to grab control of the game. They added an empty netter to make it 7-2, and the Pats scored one at the buzzer to make it a 7-3 final.

Britton had a hat trick and added two assists, while Catto scored once and set up four others. Moore had a goal and three assists, while Tanner Simpson had a goal and two helpers. Brandon Priestap rounded out the scoring. Offensive help is beginning to come from the back end. Blue liner Carter Strachan had two assists and Matt Baker had one.

"We have been playing good hockey, but with 13 and 14 skaters lately," said Catto. "Eventually, that catches up to you."

On Sunday, it did. The Bulldogs hosted the Wingham Ironmen on Sunday, and were thumped 8-0. Kincardine was outshot 17-6 in the opening period, and trailed 4-0 when it was all over. The Ironmen scored four more times in the middle frame before the Bulldogs shut things down in the third period.

The line of Aaron Armstrong, Jamie Huber and Brett Brophy combined for nine points in the game, and Matt McCracken scored a pair for Wingham. Ripley native Gregg Scott also scored for the Ironmen, who moved within four points of the first place Walkerton Hawks with the win. The Ironmen are now 16-5-3 on the season. Jaden Shrier posted his second shutout of the season. Boyadjian started for the 'Dogs, was pulled, and went back in. He was in goal for three Ironmen goals while MacGregor was victimized for five goals on 16 shots in 20 minutes of action. Kincardine was outshot 42-22 in this one.

"We deflated early and then played poorly the rest of the game," said Catto.

With the weekend split, the Bulldogs are now 11-12-2 on the season, which leaves them sitting in fourth place in the Western Junior C League, two points back of the Mitchell Hawks. The Hawks lost twice on the weekend, once to WIngham and once to Walkerton. In other league action, Hanover knocked off the Patriots, but were also hammered on by the Ironmen in a 7-0 game.

The Bulldogs will get another crack at the Ironmen on Friday night. The teams will meet at 7:40 p.m. at the Wescast Community Complex for a rematch. Mitchell will be in Walkerton Friday night as well. Saturday night, the first place Walkerton Hawks will visit the Davidson Centre for a 7 p.m. start. Also on Saturday night, the Barons will visit Wingham.