Wolves hang on for two points against Shallow Lake

Posted: January 7, 2013 in News and notes

Good teams sometimes win games when they aren’t necessarily the better team.

That was the case for the fourth place Ripley Wolves last Friday night, when they held off the hard-charging, seventh place Shallow Lake Crushers, winning the game 4-3.

The Crushers, who are relentless in their pursuit of the puck and never pass up the chance to hit an opponent, outshot the Wolves 37-23, but Ripley’s Tom Church was outstanding between the pipes, earning the well-deserved victory.

The team’s defence also had a strong game, keeping the Crushers to the outside of the rink and forcing shots from low-percentage areas. They also limited the Crushers’ second chance opportunities by clearing rebounds and covering the forechecking forwards.

Mark Stanley gave the Wolves an early lead, with a powerplay goal just over a minute into the game. It was assisted by Travis VanGaver and Kyle Gallant.

Nick Locking expanded the lead to 2-0 with an absolutely gorgeous breakaway goal with seven minutes to play in the first. Before Locking broke in all alone and made three dekes on the helpless goalie prior to slipping it into the open net, Stanley threaded a beautiful stretch pass through two defenders. VanGaver got the other assist.

Before the first was over, the Crushers pulled to within one with a late goal.

Paul Stewart restored the two-goal lead in the second by finishing another fantastic passing play, which was started by Kenny Stanley, featured Tyler deVos in the middle, who slipped it to a streaking Stewart in front. Five minutes later, VanGaver scored from Locking and Stanley, to give the Wolves what looked like a comfortable 4-1 lead.

Soon after, the Wolves got into penalty trouble that put them down two men twice, allowing the Crushers to score with 10 minutes to play in the second. Although the Crushers wouldn’t find the net again until there was six minutes to play in the third, they spent the better part of the final half of the game pressuring the Wolves and throwing shots at Church, who stood tall and held on for the 4-3 win.

The Wolves spend the next two weekends on the road and then play their final home game of the regular season on Friday, Jan. 25, at 8:30 p.m., against Shelburne. Not only is it Sponsor Appreciation Night, but the Wolves will also induct the first recipients onto its Wall of Fame. Stay tuned to ripleywolves.com for more on this special night, which is part of the team’s 10th anniversary since returning to the Sr. A league.

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