After falling to Tillsonburg in the WOAA Senior ‘A’ final last year, the new-look Ripley Wolves are ready to take a bite out of the competition in 2016/17.
With the retirements of long-time stalwarts Jeremy McQuillin and Corey McCrae, it will be a different team taking to the ice at home on Friday, Oct. 7, against the Huron East Centenaires (Seaforth) at 8:30 p.m.
Since it’s not the playoffs, you may be wondering why Seaforth is travelling to Ripley for a regular season game – this year the league has decided to bring the North and South Divisions back together during the regular season. In order to keep the schedule at 20 games, the divisions have been split east-west, so Ripley will face Clinton, Huron East and Petrolia, while avoiding Tavistock, Milverton and Tillsonburg this year.
The Wolves, who are still finalizing this season’s roster, will have a new face behind the bench as Dustin Catto – who played with the team last season – has hung up his jersey for a shirt and tie, while last year’s coach Mark Smith has assumed the role of General Manager.
“Dustin comes with a very strong coaching resume including the Kincardine Bulldogs, AAA, KMHA along with supporting the Ripley Wolves in a player coach role this past season,” Smith said. “Dustin has had great success as a coach including multiple All-Ontario Midget B championships during his time with KMHA.
“I believe having Dustin lead the Wolves will put our team in the best position for a successful campaign as he is familiar with the players and their individual skillsets, while he has a high Hockey IQ and a strong desire to win.”
Kevin Taylor continues on as team President, while McQuillin and McCrae have joined the team’s executive.
This year’s schedule is:
Oct 7 vs Huron East – 8:30 p.m.
Oct. 14 vs Shelburne – 8:30 p.m.
Nov. 5 vs Clinton – 7:30 p.m.
Nov. 12 vs Port Elgin – 7:30 p.m.
Nov. 25 vs Petrolia – 8:30 p.m.
Dec. 3 vs Durham – 7:30 p.m.
Dec. 30 vs Lucknow – 8 p.m.
Jan. 14 vs Elora – 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 15 vs Palmerston – 3 p.m.
Jan. 21 vs Shallow Lake – 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 8 @ Elora – 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 21 @ Durham – 8:30 p.mOct. 28 @ Petrolia – 8:30 p.m.
Nov. 13 @ Palmerston – 2 p.m.
Nov. 18 @ Shallow Lake – 8:30 p.m. (in Chesley, Hammond Memorial Game)
Dec. 10 @ Shelburne – 8 p.m.
Dec. 16 @ Clinton – 8:30 p.m.
Dec. 17 @ Lucknow – 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 7 @ Huron East – 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 20 @ Port Elgin – 8:30 p.m.