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Scott, Perrino, and Walker lead Caledon Golden Hawks to 6-5 comeback win over second-place Orillia Terriers

November 2, 2023   ·   0 Comments

Golden Hawks split back-to-back weekend games versus Orillia and Schomberg 

By Jim Stewart

Arunas Scott scored four points including a hat trick, Andrew Perrino cued a comeback by dishing out three assists in the second period, and Chad Walker made 34 saves in a two-period substitute goaltending appearance to lead the Caledon Golden Hawks to an impressive 6-5 come-from-behind victory over the Terriers on Saturday in Orillia.

Caledon split a challenging weekend slate of games, losing a hard-fought 3-2 decision to the Schomberg Cougars at the Mayfield Recreation Complex on Sunday afternoon. It was the Cougars’ fourth consecutive win and moved them into first-place in the North Carruthers Division with an 11-3 record.

At the West Orillia Sports Complex on Saturday evening, the Golden Hawks fell behind early when three Terriers – Devon Edwards, Marcus Petroff, and Caden Carroll – scored nine minutes apart to stake Orillia to a 3-0 lead. Caledon’s powerplay responded at 16.37 when Scott—on a helper from Anton Smirnov—narrowed the Golden Hawks’ deficit to 3-1.

However, Orillia forward Colton Dumond slipped the puck past Caledon goaltender Marek Andreali with two seconds left in the opening frame to restore the Terriers’ three-goal lead and ended the Golden Hawk goalie’s evening after surrendering four goals on sixteen shots.

Chad Walker replaced Andreali to start the second period and the move appeared to backfire initially as Noah Mountain beat Walker 42 seconds into the middle frame to put the Terriers up 5-1.

However, the Golden Hawks were undaunted by the early setback and fired five unanswered goals to claim victory.  

The comeback was cued by Scott who scored at 5:16—on assists from Nathan Gelsomini and Andrew Perrino—and bulged the twine 37 seconds later to secure his hat trick. Perrino assisted on Scott’s third tally and added his third assist of the period to continue the rally when Anton Smirnov fired a power play goal with eight minutes left in the middle frame to diminish the Terriers’ once-commanding lead to 5-4.

The Golden Hawks set the tone in the final frame in Orillia when Tyler Van Dehn—with helpers from Nicholas Volpe and Patrick Polaczek—beat Terriers’ goaltender Brody Pritchard and pulled Caledon into a 5-5 tie.  65 seconds later, Caledon slipped a sixth puck past Pritchard when Jacob Altomare scored the game-winning goal on an assist from Scott.

Walker turned aside all twenty shots he faced in the third period to preserve the win and was selected Second Star of the Game by PJHL staff.  Scott—on the strength of his three goals and one assist—was selected First Star of the Game.

On Sunday afternoon, it was a hard-hitting, spirited contest from puck drop versus first-place Schomberg. The Cougars struck first when Jacob Duggan whistled a shot from the left point 86 seconds into the game that found the back of the net behind Walker. Wesley O’Hara and Carlo Lionti earned assists on the opening goal.

Eight minutes later, with Caledon’s Nathan Gelsomini in the penalty box, the Cougars took a 2-0 lead when speedy Matthew Lychek banged in a rebound off Captain Adam Miller’s blast from the blue line. Miller’s accurate shot from the point was set up nicely by Michael Termini, but the Cougars’ power play marker seemed to snap a tired Caledon squad to attention.

The Golden Hawks pushed back in the wide-open first period that featured 41 total shots on goal.

Caledon pinned the Cougars in their own end with sustained pressure in the final three minutes of play.

Only the crease heroics of Christopher Thompson and the efficacy of the Cougars’ PK squad kept the Golden Hawks off the scoresheet. The big Schomberg netminder turned aside all 19 shots directed at him in the opening frame—most notably when he flashed the leather twice at 2:29 and 2:07 – to keep the hard-charging and much-improved home team from putting one on the scoreboard. 

However, the persistent Golden Hawks solved Thompson four minutes into the second period when Antero Allen banged in the puck in a goal mouth scramble to narrow the visitors’ lead to 2-1.

Arunas Scott—who continued his hot hand from the previous night’s game in Orillia – earned the assist on Allen’s first goal of the season. 

The Cougars continued playing a heavy game versus the Golden Hawks in the middle frame, but it cost them.  Schomberg’s Assistant Captain Carlo Lionti was banished from the contest at 11:14 for hitting from behind and was assessed a major penalty.

Less than 45 seconds later, Zach Gallow took exception to be being tackled from behind by Gelsomini who thwarted the Cougar Assistant Captain’s short-handed breakaway attempt. Gallow was assessed a double minor in the ensuing fracas and Schomberg found itself at a 5 on 3 disadvantage for four minutes.  In a defensive stand that was the turning point of the contest, Caledon kept the Cougars pinned in their own zone with excellent power play rotation and opportunities, but Schomberg’s penalty killers blocked six Golden Hawks shots and Thompson looked after the rest.  

After killing off the combination of major penalties and double minors, speedy Cougar Luke Szabo made a power move off the right wing and drew a penalty with 25 seconds left in the second period.  The Cougars’ power play went to work and within 12 seconds, Schomberg took a 3-1 lead when blueliner Andrew Hrinco blasted a shot top shelf that beat Walker high stick side.  It was Hrinco’s seventh power play goal of the season. Carter Longland and Szabo drew assists on Hrinco’s howitzer that sent the Cougars to the dressing room with a two-goal lead.

Schomberg needed that two-goal cushion because crafty Caledon forward Patrick Polaczek crept in from the weak side and tucked the puck between the post and Thompson to pull the Golden Hawks to within one with 8:07 left on the clock. The skillful Golden Hawks playmaker Nicholas Volpe earned his eighth assist of the season and Brandon Orr tallied his first helper on the elusive Polaczek’s fifth goal of the campaign. 

Joey Furlano—playing his first game as a visitor at the Mayfield Recreation Complex—created a perilous situation for Schomberg. The productive Cougar, who tallied five points in two wins versus Alliston and Midland on Thursday and Friday, drew a tripping penalty at 5:45 to put Caledon on the power play for the 11th time in the game. Again, the spirited Schomberg PK was up to the task and killed off Furlano’s untimely infraction.

Coach Mark Hrinco commented on the efficacy of his penalty killers and his team’s need for more on-ice discipline.

“Unfortunately, our penalty killers have had lots of practice this season. Fortunately, they have been really good, especially today in the second period when we found ourselves at a 5-on-3 disadvantage.  We’re pretty deep with really good penalty killers and it’s a good thing as a coach to look down the bench and have multiple options and combinations to put out there.”

Coach Hrinco credited his penalty killers’ ability to block shots against the Golden Hawks.

“In a small rink like this, one of the things we talked about before the game was the importance of blocking shots to limit chances.”

Coach Hrinco was also quick to praise his best penalty killer, goaltender Christopher Thompson, and his 42-save performance: “He was very stellar.  Chris went beyond today and helped get us this victory on the road.”

The exhausted Cougar goaltender, who turned aside 22 of 23 shots to earn the W in Midland on Friday night, also praised the penalty killers in front of him: “We had guys sliding and blocking shots to make my job easier. Our D did a great job of keeping Caledon to the outside so I could see the puck.”

Thompson likes the momentum that the Cougars have generated in their four-game win streak.

“We’re all playing well.  We need to keep playing like a top team, but we have to cut down on our penalties. We have to keep this going.  It’s a tough division with lots of good teams.”

Thompson withstood the Golden Hawks’ final spirited push as his steady counterpart Walker was pulled for an extra attacker with 1:58 on the clock.  The Cougars’ netminder saved the best for last as he smothered a goal mouth scramble at 1:30, repelled another Caledon shot at 48.8, and shut the door at 21.5 to preserve the victory.  Walker—who stole the Golden Hawks’ win in Orillia with two periods of brilliant substitute goaltending– turned in another excellent performance between the pipes for Caledon by stopping 38 of the 41 shots and raised his Save Percentage for the season to .930.

With the weekend split, the Golden Hawks (5-8-1-1) moved into a tie for fifth place with the Penetang Kings (5-6-1-1) with 12 points each in the North Carruthers Division.

Caledon’s next PJHL games are Thursday, November 2, in Schomberg against the first-place Cougars and Friday, November 3 in Innisfil versus the ninth-place Spartans.



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