The Maitland Pre-Novice Ice
Sharks earned their first win of the season by downing the visiting Collingwood
Blue Thunder 5-3 on Wednesday at Owen Sound’s Julie McArthur Regional
Nathan Garrett scored twice and Adam MacRobbie, Gillian Warren and Jaren Pirie added singles for the Ice Sharks. Hunter Stewart (2), Brody Gawel, Logan Burnham, Hayden Hofstetter and Pirie contributed the assists while goaltender Braden McKinnon stood tall between the pipes for the win.
“Our goal tonight was to attack the puck and take away Collingwood’s time and space, and the kids did a great job of that tonight,” said Ice Sharks head coach Jason Pirie. “We also talked about getting away from all the fancy stuff and instead play a blue collar game offensively by driving hard to the net and getting a lot of shots. Although there is still room for improvement, I thought overall we had success in that area at times tonight.”
MacRobbie opened the scoring 1:56 into the contest when his wrister from the top of the left circle eluded the Collingwood goaltender. Gawel and Stewart pitched in with the assists.
Collingwood, not to be discouraged, proved they came to play by responding less than two minutes later.
The Ice Sharks, however, quickly restored their lead when Garrett, from Pirie and Burnham, rifled a shot high glove at the 4:38 mark.
Garrett wasn’t done there, as he would notch his second marker of the game and his fourth of the spring season with 2:45 to play in the opening period to put Maitland ahead 3-1 at the intermission.
Warren wasted no time providing the Ice Sharks with a three-goal advantage when, a mere 53 seconds into the second frame, she pounced on a rebound off a Stewart shot and backhanded the puck into the open cage. Hofstetter also collected a helper on the play.
Collingwood was able to cut Maitland’s lead in half early in the third period, however a left all alone in the slot Pirie jumped on a loose puck following a wild scramble in front of the Collingwood net only 58 seconds later to give Maitland a comfortable 5-2 lead.
The Blue Thunder would round out the game scoring with only 2:31 to play, but that would be as close as the visitors would come.
“It’s always nice to get the first win out of the way,” said Pirie. “Hopefully it gives the kids some confidence as we head to our first tournament.”
The Pre-Novice Ice Sharks next travel to Stratford to take part in the 5th Annual Thunder Spring Spectacular, which runs from May 2-4. They open the tourney against Northern Green on Friday. Puck drop at the RBC is slated for 5 p.m.