Article by I. Schoonderbeek/Media by C. Archer & N. Schoonderbeek
That’s more like it!
The Clarington Eagles rebounded with a dominant effort Sunday afternoon in Port Perry after a disappointing loss to Georgina three days earlier. They soundly defeated the Lumberjacks 10-2 in front of 157 fans at Scugog Arena.
Carter Watson picked up his seventh win of the season in a game where his most difficult task may have been staying warm in the Clarington net. The Eagles outshot the Lumberjacks 83-16 in the contest.
Everyone had their legs moving from the get-go in this one for Clarington, leaving little opportunity for Port Perry to regroup and mount much of a defense. The balanced Eagles attack resulted in seven different players finding the back of the Lumberjacks’ net. Mitch Davies (2), Jake Dupuis (2), Hayes Bell (2), Ryan Hall, Cole Williamson, Owen Canini, and Adam Klaas all scored for Clarington.
The Eagles’ powerplay, which has been a source of concern for the coaching staff this season, converted on 50% of their opportunities, going four for eight on the afternoon.
“I think the players were embarrassed with their effort on Thursday coming out of the break,” said head coach Dean Baumhauer. “We had a lot of energy throughout the lineup today.”
While they didn’t factor into the scoring in the game, the fourth line of callups Brock Mathieson and Jake Desaillier, along with rookie Dale Junkin, drew praise from Baumhauer for their tenacious effort. “They competed their butts off out there,” said Dean. “They took some major abuse and drew a lot of penalties for us.”
One Eagle who was under the Lumberjacks’ skin all afternoon was Mitch Davies, who was his usual pesky self. Davies has demonstrated a more mature game this season compared to his impressive rookie campaign. He has continued his hard-nosed, skilled play while reducing the undisciplined penalties which saw him in the box much more often last season.
Trying to stay out of the box was a goal for Davies heading into his second season with the club. “I definitely talked to Dean about that,” said Mitch. “I want to keep the penalties down and keep our team even. We’ve got some good skill, so when we’re playing 5 on 5 it’s going to be tough for anyone to beat us.”
“Mitch had a really good game today,” said Baumhauer. “He always generates a good forecheck, and today he benefitted from his hard work with a couple of goals. His line (with Trent Gaylor and Bell) looked good today. Sometimes when you have bodies out of the lineup, you end up finding some good combinations out of necessity.”
Clarington played the game without regulars Brady Darrach, Bryson Kelloway, Connor Davies, Nate Stirling, and Nolan Matheson, along with Leyton Aitken. Aitken has been out of the lineup due to an injury sustained in the first game of the season but has recently begun skating.
The Eagles have a tough week ahead in the schedule. They host second place Uxbridge this Thursday at Rickard at 7:25 p.m. Then travel to Little Britain Saturday to take on the third place Merchants at 7:30 p.m.