Scoring-challenged Canes blanked by Kitchener
Rob Massey, Guelph Sports Journal
GUELPH – The scoring woes for the Guelph Hurricanes continued as they were blanked 4-0 by the Kitchener Dutchmen in Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League play Saturday night at the Sleeman Centre.
“I thought we carried the play for the majority of the game,” Canes’ coach Adam Wallace said. “Unfortunately, you’ve got to score one goal at least to win a hockey game and unfortunately we didn’t score.”
Riley Daniels picked up the shutout for Kitchener as he stopped all 19 shots fired his way by the Canes.
“We don’t really have many guys that are scoring goals,” Wallace said. “Goals are hard to come by, but that’s where we as a group have to make sure that we’re trying to generate team offence and trying to score on the rush and bang loose pucks in. Nothing pretty, but banging them in. They don’t ask how, they ask how many.”
Anthony Mota is the Canes’ lone player who has reached double digits in goals. He’s played all 36 of the team’s games and has 15 goals while next highest is Tyler Harrison with eight. Keanan Stewart also has eight goals this season, but five of them came with the Elmira Sugar Kings before his trade to the Canes in November.
Of the 26 teams in the entire GOJHL, only the Buffalo Regals have scored fewer goals than the 73 netted by the Canes this season. Buffalo, with a 1-30-0-3 record, has 60 goals. The Canes have been held to two goals or fewer in 25 of their games and won three of them. Saturday’s shutout loss was the third time they’ve been shut out this season.
“Our attention to detail and systems is there,” Wallace said. “We’ve just got to find ways to score.”
After a scoreless first period, Kitchener netted the eventual game-winner on a power play early in the second and extended its lead with three goals in the third.
Jeb Paulsen, Adam Pys, Blair Derynck and Jeff Schrattner each had a goal for the Canes while Ben Morris picked up two assists and Kole Scott, Sean Kawalec, Schrattner and David Kiss each had one.
Trenton McGrail was charged with the loss in net for the Canes. He faced 21 shots and stopped 17 of them.
Kitchener had two power-play goals on five opportunities while the Canes also had five power plays.
“We’ve got to catch a break and I think eventually we will, but I think the big thing is to keep the guys focused,” Wallace said. “We’re working hard and eventually the paying attention to detail will pay off.”
The result leaves the Canes at 9-22-1-4 and in seventh place in the Midwestern Conference, two points ahead of the Brantford 99ers (9-20-0-3) and one behind the Brampton Bombers (12-20-0-0). Kitchener is fifth at 15-17-0-2.
“You’ve got to keep them positive and you’ve got to take the positive out of everything with them which we do have,” Wallace said. “Our five-on-five play and our play in our D zone since the New Year has been a lot better. Our O zone has been a lot better generating chances, we’re just not scoring. Eventually we’ve just got to find ways to score.”
The Canes, who have 14 games left in their regular season, are to clash with Brantford Friday at 7:30 p.m. at the Sleeman Centre.