Article by I. Schoonderbeek/Media by C. Archer
The Clarington Eagles continued their dominant play Saturday, blanking the North Kawartha Knights 7-0 in Apsley.
The win marked the third shutout in a row for the Eagles who have not surrendered a goal in over 200 minutes of play. It was also the sixth consecutive victory for the club after a disappointing loss against Georgina coming off the Christmas break.
Defenseman Nolan Matheson got Clarington rolling five minutes into the first period with his fifth goal of the season, assisted by Brady Darrach and Dawson Manning. It was Matheson’s third goal in four games since returning from a three-game suspension resulting from a fight late in a game against Little Britain prior to Christmas.
Manning added his 18th of the season from Darrach and Carter Watkins to give the Eagles a 2-0 lead heading into the second period.
Mitch Davies extended the lead to 3-0 twelve minutes into the second from rookie Trent Gaylor.
Kolby Poulin scored his 16th of the campaign from Darrach and Manning with a powerplay goal in the final minute of play to give the Eagles a comfortable 4-0 cushion going into the third period.
The Eagles kept on coming in the third…
Owen Manarin scored his eighth or the season two minutes in from Nate Stirling and Jordan Shaw.
Mitch Davies added his second of the game and 13th of the season five minutes later from Gaylor and Matheson.
Shaw potted his 10th of the year on the powerplay from Manning to bring the Clarington scoring to a merciful end.
Manning’s four points on the evening gave him 57 on the season, good for fourth in overall PJHL scoring. He is currently riding a six-game point streak during which he has amassed 5 goals and 13 assists, a three-points-per-game pace.
Jude Rondina made 23 saves, picking up his second shutout in a row between the pipes for Clarington.
The Eagles must feel comfortable with their goaltending situation given the recent performances of Rondina and Marc-Olivier Robert between the pipes. Their stellar play combined with a stingy defense that has averaged only 20 shots against the last three games has been a recipe for success.
“The Boys started a little sloppy and Jude had to make some tough saves early,” said coach Dean Baumhauer. “After we woke up, we got goals from three different lines. Overall, I’m proud of the effort from the group over the past three games. Outscoring our opponents 22-0 and limiting shots against sure makes it easier on our goalies.”
The contest marked the 100th career regular season game milestone for Manning and Connor Davies. The two forwards are each in their third and final seasons with the club.
The Eagles will try to make it seven in a row this Thursday when they host the Lakefield Chiefs at Garnet B. Rickard Recreation Complex. Puck drop is 7:24 p.m. as usual.