Bulldogs at the top

Kincardine knocks off Wingham, Mitchell

By Josh Howald

The Nicol Insurance Kincardine Bulldogs remained undefeated and at the top of the Western Junior C standings with a pair of weekend wins.

Kincardine and Walkerton share the points lead in the West with identical 5-0-1 records. The only blemish on either team's record is the tie game they played against each other on the season's opening weekend. Something is bound to give on Sunday, when the Hawks visit the Davidson Centre for an important 4 p.m. game.

Friday night Kincardine travelled to Wingham to take on the undefeated Ironmen. After a scoreless opening period, there was a flurry of goals in the middle frame. Kincardine's Patrick Wiejak opened the scoring with a power play goal, but Broedy Karelse answered two minutes later with the Ironmen on a man advantage. Then, 34 seconds later, Logan Tolton made it 2-1 for Wingham. Ripley's Greg Scott assisted on that goal. Brett Burrows scored from Mike Osadca to even things up at 2-2 and Dalton Hnatko scored the eventual game winner with time winding down in the period. Wiejak and Matthew Mah assisted on Hnatko's winner, which was also a power play goal. Mah also assisted on the Wiejak's goal that started the scoring.

Shane Vollmer gave Kincardine some breathing room with an insurance marker midway through the third period. Burrows and Derrick Bernath assisted.

Jacob Hutchings posted his second win in the crease as a Bulldog, stopping 26 of 28 shots he faced. At the other end, veteran Ben Nelson made 30 saves in the losing effort.

The next night at home, Kincardine pulled away from Mitchell in the second and third periods of a physical contest that the 'Dogs won 5-2.

Midget call-up Rhys Vollmer opened the scoring with an unassisted tally midway through the first, but Lucas Spence tied the game just nine seconds later. With Kincardine on the power play, Eric Langridge scored from Mah to put the 'Dogs back in front. Kyle Spence tied the game for Mitchell before the first period ended. But goals early in the second period from Wiejak and Dan Skinner put Kincardine in the driver's seat. The Bulldogs enjoyed plenty of power play time in the middle frame, but couldn't capitalize. Wiejak set up Keegan Angel late in the third period, however, to make it a 5-2 final.

Luke Aulthouse was back in net against Mitchell and stopped 18 of 20 shots he faced. Graeme Lauersen allowed five goals on 35 shots for the Hawks.

Elsewhere in the West on the weekend, Walkerton edged out the Hanover Barons 4-3 on Friday night and beat Wingham 4-1 on Sunday afternoon. Mount Forest dumped Goderich 6-1 on Saturday, but the Flyers bounced back with an 11-5 win over Mitchell on Sunday night.

The Bulldogs are back in action Saturday night in Mitchell at 7:15 p.m. As mentioned, Kincardine will then host Walkerton for a big game Sunday afternoon. The puck drops at 4 p.m.