Goody credits entire organization for Panthers' success
Keifer MacInnis pockets the puck into the net winning the game for the Port Hope Panthers in a shootout against the Campbellford Rebels on Friday night at the Jack Burger Sports Complex.
Head coach Mat Goody credits “a team effort” for the success of the Port Hope Panthers to this point of the Empire Junior C Hockey League season.
That includes, he says, owner Dennis Lagrois and the game-day staff and volunteers which make Port Hope a great place to play, the rest of the coaching staff and, certainly, the players.
Not only are the veterans and other regular players upping their game, the club has also had to call regularly on affiliated players. The Panthers currently have 10 who can play, if needed: Austin Veleke of Port Hope, Justin Adams of Baltimore, goaltender Branson Schell, Cole McBride, Graham Jackson and Warren Cooper of Cobourg, and Josh McColluch, Kieran Milne, Jordan Duncan and Brandon Baks of Oshawa.
“I would say we’re very lucky,” Goody said. “We have very dedicated APs that come to practice and learn the systems.”
Goody lauded his staff, which also includes Jay Knuth, John Foley, Dan Stewart and Scott Artis.
“It’s not just me working with these guys,” he said.
Of the whole organization, Goody said, “it’s just a great team effort.”
Port Hope (18-8-1) is currently sitting in second place after defeating the Campbellford Rebels 4-3 in a shootout on Friday night and the Amherstview Jets 6-4 on Sunday evening.
Friday night at the Jack Burger Sports Complex, Dalton Lawrence, Ryan Hickey and Keifer MacInnes, with the winner, scored for Port Hope in the shootout to offset Campbellford goals by Josh Adams and Hunter Fargey.
Port Hope’s Dan Lagrois tied the game at 3-3 with his goal at the 16:13 mark of the third period to ultimately force overtime. Lagrois had also scored late in the first period after Jon Samis scored twice to put the Rebels up 2-0 early in the contest.
Lawrence, prior to his shootout tally, scored for the Panthers near the midway mark of the second period to even the score 2-2. Ryan Crowley replied for the Rebels with a go-ahead goal a few later, a lead that stood up until Lagrois’s late tying goal.
Goaltender Wayne Fryer, acquired from the Uxbridge Bruins, made his debut for Port Hope on Friday and made 36 saves in the win over the Rebels. Fryer posted a 6-3-2 record 2.84 goals-against average in 11 starts with Uxbridge.
Fryer also started Sunday’s game in Amherstview to earn his second victory for the Panthers with a 31-save performance.
After a scoreless first period, seven goals were scored in the second period, with the edge belonging to Port Hope 4-3. The offence was back-and-forth as Lagrois opened the scoring for the Panthers before Cody Stapley got one back for the Jets. Brad Heykoop then scored for the Panthers, but the Jets soon went ahead 3-2 on goals by Stapley and Brody Taylor.
Two goals, just under a minute apart, by Lagrois and Jacob Spicer, gave the Panthers a 4-3 advantage heading into the third period.
Ryan DeGuerre, who previously played for Little Britain of the Central Ontario junior C league, bolstered the Port Hope lead to 5-3 10 minutes into the third. Nic Pascoal cut the Amherstview deficit to one with less than four minutes to play, but Lagrois scored third goal of the contest into an empty net to secure the win for the Panthers.
Port Hope got the offence it needed this past weekend to go along with solid netminding by Fryer.
“(Fryer) had a helluva weekend. He’s stepping in to a spot where we hope he can give us a chance to win every night,” Goody said, who has had several changes in net already this season. “Colin Goody came in and has done pretty good for us. I’m hoping now that we have a great tandem with Wayne and Colin.”
Port Hope was receiving strong goaltending from Justin Urquhart before he moved up to play junior A for Milton of the Ontario Junior Hockey League.
Although it put the Panthers in a tough spot at the time, Goody said “you can’t lose sight of the fact that this is a development league.”
Goody is pleased to see a positive atmosphere surrounding the team, which is a reflection of the team effort he spoke of. He also said a big change for Panthers organization is that available players are seeking to play in Port Hope now.
“The nice thing is they are having fun,” Goody said. “I’m tough on them, I know that, but the guys are sticking together and having fun.”
At this point in the season, Goody said the systems in place are generating results and now it’s about fine tuning those systems to limit breakdowns.
“I’m happy with where we’re at right now,” the coach said, then paused before adding, “but never satisfied.”
GP W L OTL PTS GF GA PIM
Picton 25 19 4 2 40 136 54 354
Port Hope 27 18 8 1 37 118 94 580
Campbellford 24 15 7 1 32 110 76 402
Amherstview 26 15 10 1 31 108 95 452
Napanee 25 7 17 1 15 78 115 461
Deseronto 27 3 24 0 6 57 173 647
LAST WEEK’S RESULTS
Amherstview 3 Napanee 1
Picton 12 Deseronto 2
Port Hope 4 Campbellford 3 (SO)
Deseronto 3 Napanee 1
Picton 4 Campbellford 2
Port Hope 6 Amherstview 4
THIS WEEK'S GAMES
Amherstview at Napanee, 7:30 p.m.
Deseronto at Picton, 7:30 p.m.
Picton at Amherstview, 7:30 p.m.
Napanee at Port Hope, 8 p.m.
Campbellford at Deseronto, 8:30 p.m.
Port Hope at Campbellford, 7:30 p.m.