Wolves drop two on weekend

Host Lancers Friday night

By Josh Howald

The standings don't lie.

The Ripley Wolves knew they had a tough weekend ahead, with visits to the first and second place teams. After a tough loss Friday night to the second place Durham Thundercats, the first place Mapleton-Minto 81's flexed some muscle Saturday in Drayton and blanked the Wolves 5-0.

The pair of road losses leaves the Wolves sixth overall in the WOAA Senior AA North Division standings at 6-8-0-1. Durham, meanwhile, moved to 11-3 with Friday night's win and the 81's are now 13-1 after dumping Ripley.

Friday night in Durham, Cody Britton opened the scoring for the Wolves just 57 seconds after the opening face-off. Brett Catto and Drew Davidson assisted on the goal. Durham evened the score when Billy Terpstra beat Wolves goaltender Jamie Bailey at the 5:50 mark of the first period.

Britton stuck swiftly again to start the second period. This time, he needed just 49 seconds to score his team leading 11th goal of the season. Catto assisted. Jay Tremble scored a power play goal for the Thundercats 12 minutes later, and Kody Vasserman gave Durham a 3-2 lead with 3:31 remaining in the second period.

The third period began in similar fashion - with the Wolves scoring right away. Catto tied the game with help from Britton and Tyler McCarthy 1:45 in. But two minutes later, Ryan Zeggil restored a one-goal lead for Durham. It remained 4-3 until Randy Cox scored with 5:43 to play. That gave the T-Cats a 5-3 lead, but it only lasted for 10 seconds. Davidson scored from Catto and McCarthy to put the Wolves back in striking distance down the stretch. Catto was in on every Ripley goal, while Britton factored into three of the four markers. However, Cox put the game away with 1:30 to go with his second goal of the game.

The Wolves outshot Durham 34-27. Scott Kuglin gets the win with 23 saves for the Thundercats, while Bailey turned aside 21 shots from Durham.

The next night the Wolves were in Drayton to face the first place 81's, and this one wasn't as close. Mapleton-Minto was in the driver's seat for the duration of this affair, and took 2-0 and 3-0 leads to the intermissions. Kane Geldart had a pair of goals for the 81's. Dan Richardson, Scott Tregunna and Keegan Calder also scored for the hosts. Geldart added two assists in a four-point outing. Jason Hamilton posted the shut out in goal for his ninth win of the season.

The Wolves should now be prepared to take on the 3-12 Lucknow Lancers at home Friday night. The puck drops at 8:30 p.m. at the Ripley-Huron Community Complex. On Saturday night, the Wolves will head north on Highway 21 to play the Saugeen Shores Winterhawks. The puck drops at 8 p.m. in Port Elgin. That is Ripley's final game until 2016, when the Wolves take on Lucknow again on Jan. 2 in Lucknow.