After a successful weekend in Fergus the Werewolves reverted back to early season form and repeated their sub par Brantford performance – 1-3 for the tournament. …sigh…

With random players projected to be available for games here and there, the Niagara weekend was expected to be less than ideal but overall bench numbers were pretty healthy all weekend – unfortunately the results were less than desirable. Friday night the opponents were perennial nemesis – Brampton. Werewolves kept it close responding quickly to an early Brampton goal and leaving the 1st period tied 1-1.  In the 2nd both teams played strong defense until Brampton was able to score later in the period. KarlT tied it up for the Werewolves but that was it for London scoring. Brampton scored again late in the 2nd and then added 2 more in the 3rd, eking out a 5-2 victory. A winnable game that needed a bit more scoring from the London shooters. After the game, a couple of cars headed back to London while the remainder of the Wolves stayed for live comics and debriefing beverages.

Saturday morning schedule was another tough opponent – Toronto Beaches. Toronto scored a couple of goals early but London kept up the pressure and scored to make it close. Unfortunately, a couple of minutes later Beaches popped in a goal and then another right off the face off and their lead was back up to 3 at the end of the 1st period. In the 2nd the Werewolves mimicked the Beaches playbook and scored a couple of goals within a minute to make it close but Toronto pressed hard and replied twice before the end of the period to restore their 3 goal margin. In the 3rd both teams were only able to score 1 and the game ended with a Beaches victory 7-4. 2 periods tied with all of the extra Toronto scoring coming in the 1st period – a moral victory if not one on the score sheet.

Saturday afternoon the opponent was Peterboro augmented with some high quality Niagara area call ups. London scored 1st and then the teams exchanged goals until the ‘Boro added a couple of late markers to exit the 1st, leading 5-3. Werewolves outscored Peterboro 3-2 in the 2nd to close the gap – the 2nd period ending with the ‘BoroBoys leading 7-6. In the 3rd, London pressed hard tieing the game with 8 minutes to go but with 4 minutes left in the game a Peterboro shot was stopped but the ball rolled to the edge of the crease and one of the ex NLL ringers, left uncovered, ran across, picked up the loose ball and deposited it in the open net for the go-ahead goal. Werewolves pushed hard, with lots of shots and good scoring opportunities, even pulling their goalie with a minute and a half remaining but they were unable to tie things up. Final score – P’Boro 8 – Werewolves 7. Three games, three losses – not good. Again, after the game, a number of players made the long drive back to London leaving some of the remainder to discuss the upcoming prospects of a typically empty Sunday morning bench.

Sunday morning, the opposition was a new Sr. team from Windsor met with a surprisingly adequate London bench – 9 runners plus GordC relinquishing his goalie pads to help out as a runner. Taking the 1st face off Gord won it cleanly setting the tone for the rest of the game. Werewolves scored 3 goals in the 1st and dominated play shutting down the Windsor offense completely. In the 2nd Windsor scored and then the teams exchanged goals to exit the period with London still leading by 3, up 5-2. In the 3rd, London scored a couple to seemingly put the game out of reach…maybe before Windsor made a valiant effort to make it close by scoring a couple – Werewolves still could snatch defeat from the jaws of victory – we are good at doing that! But not this game – time ran out and even with a Windsor penalty shot goal with no time left on the clock Werewolves were able to post an 8-5 victory. Gord’s dominating perfomance in teh face-off circle was the definite highlight of the game if not the entire weekend. Always good to win the last game of the tournament regardless of the other results.

Overall not too bad of a weekend – realistically we should have won 2 games but hopefully, with everyone available for the provincials in Oakville, the Werewolves will be back in their manic phase and will go 3-1 or better in their next trial (1-3, 3-1, 1-3… there does seem to be a pattern here…maybe?)  On to the provincials!