The Spirit made the most of a busy, challenging weekend, picking up 4 out of a possible 6 points and defeating the #5 Ranked team in the Country yesterday at home.
The weekend begun on Saturday, as the division leading Pickering Panthers rolled into the Stouffville Arena, and left with their tail between their legs, giving up a close one on an overtime goal by Tyson Bruce (Photo by Brian Watts / OJHL Images). The Spirit had a comfortable 4 goal lead half way through the second but the Panthers roared back, sending the game to overtime where Bruce was able to find the back of the net assisted by Alex Gilmour. James Mense-Dietrich continued his offensive production netting 2 goals and picking up an assist in the contest, and earning him the games 1st star. Tyson Bruce was awarded game star #2.
The team loaded the bus and headed west to visit the Orangeville Flyers on Sunday, and though some would say that this contest may be the easiest matchup of the 3 over the weekend, the opposite rang true as the home team handed the Spirit their 8th loss of the season. The Flyers capitalized on 2 powerplay opportunities and netted a short handed marker in the contest, and earned the 2 points with a 5-2 victory.
The team got as much rest as they could amidst the Thankgiving Holiday celebrations, but were back on home ice Monday afternoon, facing the 10-2 Trenton Golden Hawks, and ending the 3 games in 3 days weekend with a solid 5-4 victory. The contest was a back and forth affair, until the third period when Stouffville's powerplay turned it on and capitalized on an undisciplined Hawks team that was sent to the box on 8 straight occasions. The Spirit finished the contest with an impressive 5 PPG's and allowed little opportunity for Trenton to take advantage of the powerplay, as the Spirit had only 4 penalties to defend against throughout the contest. Team Captain Matt Heffernan had his strongest offensive output of the season, picking up 4 assists and earning the games 2nd star honours. Chris Brill-Morgan had an outstanding offensive game as well and finished with a 2 goal game, earning him the contests 3rd star. The games 1st star was team point leader Nick Thomakos who has had 11 points over his current 7 game point streak. Bruce, Gilmour and Deveny each picked up 2 points in the contest as well. Goaltender Connor McCollum was kept very busy and picked up his 2nd win of the season as the Golden Hawks outshot the Spirit 42-34.
The Spirits next game is this coming Saturday, when the Newmarket Hurricanes visit with puck drop at 730PM.