The roller coaster season for the McLean & Dickey Orillia Terriers continued on Saturday night when the local squad dropped a 7-3 decision to the Caledon Golden Hawks.
The Terriers fell behind in the first few minutes of the game and were unable to ever find their rhythm.
Golden Hawks' forward Ryan Anderson collected a lucky rebound off the glass to pot the first shot of the game past Terriers’ goalie Carver Monroe. Two minutes later, Golden Hawks' forward Joey Furlano snapped the second shot of the game for the visitors past Monroe.
The home crowd of 197 fans at Orillia's Rotary Place was given a glimmer of hope when the Terriers were sent to the power play one minute later, but the home squad would end up turning the puck over to Golden Hawks' forward Michael Bottrell in the offensive zone. Bottrell skated all the way down the ice and wired the fourth shot of the game for the visitors past Monroe, spelling the end of the night for the starting goaltender.
“I just couldn’t seem to rebound from a few unlucky bounces,” Monroe told OrilliaMatters after the game.
Despite being pulled in the first period in favour of Reed Spinola, Monroe says he never lost faith in his squad.
“I always believe that the guys are just a shot away from pulling us back in the game,” he said. “I always have faith in my team."
Monroe says it won’t take long for him to refocus and start preparing for his next start.
“It’s in the past now,” he said. “It’s one game ... it doesn’t define a whole season.”
The Terriers began to claw back in the second period. Three minutes in, forward Noah Mountain knocked down a Kaden Goggins wrist shot that bounced passed Golden Hawks goalie Lucas Hillert, who stopped 62 of 65 Terriers’ shots on the night.
“I was hoping it would lead to more goals,” Mountain says. “It sucks that we couldn’t get past their goalie tonight. He stood on his head.”
Mountain says his goal gave his team new life in the second period.
“It’s important to get off to a good start in every period,” he said. “That’s something we need to do and work on.”
Despite out-shooting the Golden Hawks 23-5 in the second frame, the Terriers allowed Furlano to score his second tally of the night, allowing the visiting team to take a three-goal lead entering the third period.
The Terriers wouldn’t find much puck luck in the third period. While forwards Colton Dumond and Ty Snell did find the back of the net, the Golden Hawks added a couple of goals of their own to bring the final score to 7-3.
While the Terriers did out-shoot their opponents 65-24 on Saturday night, captain Dylan Palomaki says the Jr. C squad has been in a slump when it comes to offence.
“We got to find our way out of it,” he said. “We need to start finding the back of the net.”
The now 13-12-0-2 Terriers sit in fourth place in the North Carruthers Division of the Provincial Junior Hockey League. The Terriers now only have 12 games remaining on their regular season schedule.
“These will be the biggest 12 games of our lives so far,” Palomaki said.
The Terriers will look to rebound from Saturday’s loss when they host the rival Midland Flyers on Saturday, Feb. 4. at 7:30 p.m.