Article by Sam Laskaris / Photos by Chris Archer
A pair of rookies led the offensive production as the Clarington Eagles extended their winning streak to four games on Thursday.
Mitch Davies and Owen Maranin scored two goals each as the Eagles trounced the North Kawartha Knights 8-1 in a Provincial Junior Hockey League (PJHL) match staged at the Garnet B. Rickard Recreation Complex.
Besides continuing their recent winning ways, Thursday’s triumph for the Eagles was significant as it allowed them to take over sole ownership of second place in the league’s Orr Division standings, one point behind the front-running Little Britain Merchants.
Clarington and North Kawartha entered the contest with 28 points apiece. With the victory the Eagles saw their record improve to 14-5-0-2. The Knights, who have played one game more than Clarington, saw their mark fell to 14-8-0-0.
Davies kicked off the Eagles’ offensive show by notching the first two goals of the game in the opening five minutes of the first period.
“He got us two goals, boom boom, and we were off to the races,” Clarington head coach Dean Baumhauer said of Davies. “He’s a sparkplug for us.”
Davies, who returned to the Eagles’ lineup after serving a two-game suspension, said a quick pre-game talk on the bench from Baumhauer provided him with some additional inspiration.
“I was fired up and set to get going,” he said.
Davies and his teammates, however, were not necessarily expecting to register a lopsided W.
“You can never take North Kawartha lightly,” he said. “But we just had it tonight. We came out to play.”
As for Manarin, who now leads the Eagles in the goal-scoring department with 12, he netted both of his markers in the third period.
Clarington had a 3-0 lead after the opening 20 minutes. After being held off the scoreboard in the second period, the Eagles responded with a five-goal outburst in the third.
Baumhauer said he wasn’t entirely pleased with his charges who took a 3-1 lead into the second intermission.
The bench boss felt the trio were not performing up to their capabilities on the defensive side of things.
“I liked the response from Manning, Shaw and Manarin in the third,” Baumhauer said.
Besides his two-goal effort, Manarin also added an assist on Shaw’s third-period marker, his eighth of the 2021-22 campaign.
Shaw also assisted on both of Manarin’s goals. And Manning also added a pair of assists in the final 20 minutes.
“We struggled defensively in the first two periods,” Manning admitted of the trio, which collectively had eight points in the final 20 minutes. “But we turned it around in the third period.”
The Eagles outshot the Knights 52-31 on the night. Alex Lepizzera earned the victory between the pipes for Clarington.
“Lepy stood on his head as usual,” Manning said.
The Eagles will try to make it five consecutive wins on Friday as they hit the road to battle the Uxbridge Bruins.
The opening faceoff is scheduled for 7:45 p.m. at the Uxbridge Arena and Community Centre.
Clarington is then scheduled to play its final match of 2021 next Thursday, Dec. 23, at home versus the Port Perry MoJacks. Game time is 7:20 p.m.