A huge crowd went home happy as the Wolves won their home opener 5-3 over the Durham Thundercats. The game was sponsored by West Shore Stone and Brick.

The 2-0 Wolves jumped out to a three-goal lead in the first on goals from new first-line centre Ben Hughes, his first as a Wolf. That was quickly followed by goals from Drew Davidson and hometown boy Garrett Meurs, who scored his first goal on Ripley ice since he was a Novice hockey player and on the road to the OHL, the NHL Draft, and a professional career in the American and East Coast Hockey Leagues.

Suffice it to say, many of the fans packing the Ripley stands have been waiting to see Meursy in the flesh, and he didn’t disappoint, finishing with two goals, his second coming on the powerplay in the second.

Kurt Edwards got the start for the Wolves and stopped 10 shots in the first to help the Wolves to a comfortable lead heading into the first intermission. Durham got one back in the second but still trailed 4-1 after two, with Ripley holding a significant edge in play thanks to strong penalty killing and solid defensive coverage when Durham did form an attack.

The Cats had more pounce in the third though and brought it to within two with 15 minutes to play, before Davidson scored his second of the game with 10 left in the period. The three-goal cushion was short-lived though as Durham turned up the heat on the Wolves and scored on the powerplay with 7:35 left on the clock and momentum shifted their way.

That’s when their goalie, Gatlin Burt, turned from a talented netminder to loose cannon, as he has done in various leagues, and on various teams, for years. After Meurs cut through his crease, but didn’t make contact with him, the Wolves forward started his backcheck flanked by a Durham defender. No words or sticks were being exchanged.

Suddenly, Burt pulled his goalie stick back and chopped Meurs hard in the leg. The Wolves home captain, dropped, turned, looked and smiled incredulously at Burt from one knee. The goalie faked another move at Meurs, but for once held himself in check.

With 4:54 left in a two-goal game, and the ice tilting toward Ripley’s end, Burt was given a five-minute penalty for slashing, and a game misconduct. Hopefully the league looks at suspension – or expulsion – for this repeat (and repeat, and repeat) offender.

The Wolves peppered Durham’s back-up, who made some fine saves, but the wind was out of Durham’s sails, and the final ended 5-3 for Ripley. The Wolves outshot Durham 46-30 in the win.

Ripley will host Mapleton-Minto on Saturday, Oct. 20, at 7 p.m. It’s Meet the Wolves Night, where kids can visit with the players in the dressing room between periods. The game is sponsored by Kempton Construction.

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Wolves down Elora 4-3

Posted: October 13, 2018 in News and notes

Garrett Meurs scored the overtime winner as the Wolves escaped Elora with a 4-3 win on Friday night.

Despite outshooting Elora 30-3 after two periods, the Wolves needed two third-period goals to force overtime.

Dan Nicoloff had the Wolves lone goal before the third, while the Wolves pounded Elora’s goalie with shots in the second, firing an astounding 23 pucks on net without scoring.

Keaton Willis got his first as a Wolf in the third, unassisted on the powerplay, before Meurs tied it up, also unassisted, with just over a minute left on the clock and Ripley’s net empty, to send the game to overtime.

In OT, Meurs scored the winner from Drew Davidson on the powerplay.

The Wolves return home tonight looking to avenge last year’s playoff series against Durham. The puck drops at 7 p.m. Be sure to come early to watch the Kincardine Bulldogs play in Ripley at 4 p.m., when they face off against the Mount Forest Patriots as part of Hockey Day in Ripley.

Don’t forget to follow the Wolves on Twitter @RipleyWolves and friend us on Facebook for updates.

Thanks also to the great crowd who attended the Wolves first Quiz Night of the season last night at the Ripley Curling Club. Quiz Night is the second Friday of each month, so gather a team of eight or less, and come have a fun night with friends on Nov. 9.

 

 

Wolves win season opener 7-3

Posted: October 8, 2018 in News and notes

The Ripley Wolves overcame a two-goal deficit to win their season opener 7-3 in Port Elgin on Saturday night.

The Wolves scored six unanswered in the second and third periods, after trailing 3-1 after the first. Goals were scored by Tyson Soers (2), Gerrit Satosek, Garrett Meurs, Dylan Sayle, Dan Nicoloff, and Cody Britton. Assists went to Patrick Looby (2), Nicoloff, Britton, Brent Walton (2), Satosek, Tyler McCarthy, Meurs, Robert White, Sayle, and Nick Seiler.

Ryan MacDonald got the win in the Wolves net.

Ripley travels to Elora on Friday night and then hosts Durham on Saturday night as part of Hockey Day in Ripley, which will see the Kincardine Bulldogs play at 4 p.m., followed by the Wolves at 7 p.m.

Friday night is also the first monthly Quiz Night of the 2018-19 season. The BYOB event is held the second Friday of the month, at the Ripley Curling Club, at 8 p.m. Bring your team of 8 for a fun night of trivia!

The Ripley Wolves are ready to build off last season’s franchise-best second overall finish in the WOAA Senior A hockey league.

The Wolves have deepened their roster by adding Ripley native Garrett Meurs to their already potent offence, while welcoming back Walkerton’s Drew Davidson, who took last season off after being a part of one of the league’s top lines previously with the Wolves. They’ve also added depth to their blueline, adding four players from the area, as well as a goalie with international experience.

Meurs, a fifth-round pick of the Colorado Avalanche in 2011, split time between the East Coast Hockey League and the American Hockey League the past few seasons, before returning to his roots in Ripley. Meurs should be the best forward in the league on a team that already features excellent scoring depth, said head coach Dustin Catto.

“Garret is gifted offensively, thinks the game well, has great foot speed and is extremely competitive,” Catto said. “I know a lot of people in Ripley are excited to finally see Garret put on his hometown jersey.”

Davidson is a top-six forward on any team, and recently rounded out one of the league’s best scoring lines with Brett Catto and Cody Britton, before taking last season off.

“Drew is a smart, two-way player, and will put up big points,” the head coach said. “If you’re going to be successful in this league, you need guys like him on the ice at all times.”

The Wolves have also signed Ben Hughes, of Barrie, who was a fourth-round pick of the OHL’s Niagara Ice Dogs, and won a Jr. B MVP award in 2015 with the Ancaster Avalanche. He finished his Jr. B career with back-to-back 100+ point seasons with the Stayner Siskins.

“He is huge – 6’4 or 6’5,” Catto said. “Everyone we talk to says he is the real deal, a massive body, great passer, moves really well, and has soft hands for a big guy. We’re very excited to add him.”

On defence, the Wolves have added two Listowel residents, who helped their hometown Cyclones to two Cherry Cup wins and last year’s All-Ontario Sutherland Cup championship. Keaton Willis was a Jr. B All-Star, and arguably one of the best defencemen graduating from the league, Catto said.

“Keaton’s small, but he certainly doesn’t play that way. He’s mobile, and has offensive talent, buoyed by a heavy shot. He’s a fierce competitor who plays a foot taller than he is.”

Blake Nichol was the Captain of the Cyclones for the past two seasons. The Kingston Frontenacs draft pick is a born leader, and a solid top-four defenceman, Catto said.

“He has an aggressive style, and he keeps you honest. Blake’s a great skater and strong in his own end. We couldn’t be happier to add a winner like Blake.”

Paisley native Robert White has played Jr. B with the Cyclones and Jr. C in Kincardine, where he won a league championship. He’s a puck mover who can play in any situation, Catto said.

“Robert doesn’t back down and he’s coming here to win. He’s an honest, hard worker who earns every inch of ice.”

Kincardine resident Payton Dunlop rounds out the additions to the Wolves’ defence. Dunlop was a two-time GMOHL champ with the Alliston Hornets, and has also suited up for the Kincardine Bulldogs.

“Payton plays the game tough and doesn’t back down from anyone. He attacks pucks and bodies, and has a heavy shot from the blueline. Fans are going to enjoy watching him play because he’ll do anything to win.”

In net, the Wolves have added Chesley native Ryan Macdonald, who won a Sutherland Cup with the Stratford Cullitons, and played with the London Knights and Guelph Storm of the OHL, winning the OHL’s best Goals Against Average (GAA), and best rookie GAA. He moved onto the ECHL before playing six seasons in Germany, where he faced current Wolves sniper Brent Walton.

“Everyone says the same thing… once he gets his feet wet he will be the best goalie around,” Catto said. “He’s small and moves very well, and he plays the puck like you have another defenceman.”

The Wolves get their season started on Saturday, Oct. 6, in Port Elgin at 7 p.m. Their first home game is Saturday, Oct. 13, as they look to avenge last year’s five-game playoff defeat to Durham. Game time is 7 p.m. The home opener is part of the Hockey Day in Ripley celebrations, which will also see the Kincardine Bulldogs play at 4 p.m. See the full schedule at www.ripleywolves.com/seasonschedule.

The Wolves executive is also bringing back its popular monthly Quiz Nights, which begin Friday, Oct. 12, at 7 p.m., at the Ripley Curling Club, and run the second Friday of every month through May. There are spots for 10 teams of eight at this bring-your-own-beverage event, and pre-registration is encouraged by texting or calling Dwight Irwin at 519-525-7106, or sending a message to him via Facebook. Cost is $20 per player, with the winning team receiving half the proceeds.

The Wolves will also hold their second annual Christmas Dinner and Yuk Yuks Night on Friday, Nov. 23, at the Ripley Arena. There are only a few tables of eight left, so gather your friends and celebrate the upcoming Christmas season! Tickets are $600 for a table ($75 each). Contact Dwight to book your spot.

As always, follow the Wolves on Twitter @RipleyWolves, friend the team on Facebook, and get game reports, season stats, and recognize our sponsors at www.ripleywolves.com.

The Ripley Wolves put up a valiant effort but didn’t have quite enough to stop the Durham Thundercats from taking Game 5 by a 5-4 score.

The Wolves led all off and on all night but couldn’t shut down Durham long enough to put a stranglehold on the game, and, with just 3:30 left in the third, a beautiful toe drag and snipe gave Durham the lead for good.

Wolves goals were scored by Cody Britton (2), Brett Catto and Dylan Sayle, with assists going to Garrett Satosek, Brian Stanley, Jarred Colling, Catto and Alex MacLeod.

Jason Hamilton was excellent in the Wolves net, facing 36 shots in the game.

The loss concludes the one of the best years in Ripley Wolves history, with the team finishing second overall in the regular season, as they iced one of the fastest, most exciting teams in the WOAA Sr. A league.

The Ripley Wolves executive thanks the players, coaches, managers, fans and sponsors for their dedication to the team this season.

Wolves lose 6-3 in Game 4

Posted: March 4, 2018 in News and notes

The Ripley Wolves are on the brink of elimination after suffering a 6-3 loss in Game 4 on Saturday.

The Thundercats scored three in the final half of the first period to lead 3-0 after one. The Wolves battled back in the second with goals from Patrick Weijack and Patrick Looby, with assists to Jarred Colling, Tyson Soers and Nick Seiler, to close the gap to 3-2 after two periods.

Any hopes of a comeback were quashed in the first two minutes of the third when the Cats pumped two behind Wolves goalie Jason Hamilton, stretching the lead to 5-2. Garrett Satosek would add one more for the Wolves, from Colling and Seiler, and the game ended in a 6-3 score.

Durham now leads the best-of-seven semifinal 3-1, and the Wolves will try to stave off elimination in Game 5 on Saturday, March 10, in Ripley, at 7 p.m.

Game 6, if necessary, will be Sunday, March 11, in Durham, at 1:30 p.m. Game 7 would be Tuesday, March 13, at 8:30 p.m., in Ripley, if it goes the distance.

The Ripley Wolves came out flying in Game 3 and forced their way back into their semi-final series with Durham with a 4-0 win.

The Wolves came out with a definite edge to their game that has been missing, laying many hard, clean bodychecks on the Thundercats. Jason Hamilton was between the pipes for the Wolves, looking like he did early in the season before he suffered an injury, when he was one of the league’s top goalies.

A packed house couldn’t drown out the cheers of Brent Walton and his linemates Brett Catto and Cody Britton when Walton converted on their passes, breaking the team’s two-game goalless drought late in the first period.

Five minutes later Dylan Sayles made no mistake when left all alone in front on a great rush and passing by Jarred Colling and Mike Osadca, putting the Wolves up 2-0 after the first.

The second was a back-and-forth affair with Hamilton making many nice saves as Durham tried to create havoc in front, and Britton gave the Wolves some more breathing room when he converted from Catto to put the Wolves up 3-0.

The third period was the Hamilton show once again, as Durham peppered 19 shots on net (of their 37 total) and couldn’t get one past him. Britton got his second on the powerplay late in the game, from Walton and Catto, to make the final 4-0 Ripley.

The series returns to Durham today, Saturday, March 3, at 2:30 p.m. with Durham leading the series 2-1. Game 5 will be in Ripley on Saturday, March 10, at 7 p.m.