Oct 16, 2023 | Dwight Irwin | 872 views
Wolves split first two games of inaugural OEHL season
The Ripley Wolves fell in a shoot-out to the expansion Erin Outlaws but recovered to down Milverton on the first weekend of the new Ontario Elite Hockey League (OEHL).
The Wolves kicked off their season with a 5-4 (shoot-out) road loss to one of the two new teams in the OEHL.
The Wolves, who were championship runners-up last season in the now-defunct WOAA Senior A League, led 3-2 after one period on goals from veteran Dan Nicoloff, newcomer Kyle Durrer and Logan Swanton. Assists went to Derek Skinner (2), Evan Visser, and new defenceman Todd Hellyer.
The Outlaws took the lead in the second, but (almost) 39-year-old rookie Wolves defenceman Mike Howes forced the game to overtime by tying it up in the third, with Durrer gathering the only assist.
Jason Hamilton stopped 39 shots, including eight in the five-minute overtime, before falling in the skills competition.
On Sunday, the Wolves forced their way into the win column by downing Milverton 5-1, again on the road.
The Wolves led the entire way, going up 5-0 by the middle of the third period, before Hamilton lost his shutout bid. Wolves goals were scored by Garrett Meurs, Ethan Skinner (2), D. Skinner, and new forward Kaden Hoggarth. Assists went to Meurs (3), Hoggarth (2), Nicoloff, D. Skinner, Tyson Soers, and Alex Kuntz.
Hamilton – who held modern-day records for wins, shutouts and minutes played in the former WOAA Senior A League – stopped 34 shots for his first win in the OEHL.
The Wolves will continue to be road warriors this weekend, when they travel to Durham on Saturday, Oct. 21, at 7:30 p.m. They'll play their home opener on Saturday, Oct. 28, at 7 p.m., vs the Lucknow Lancers.
There is also still time to get your team of up to eight players into the first Wolves Trivia Night since 2019, on Friday, Oct. 20, at 8 p.m. at the Ripley Curling Club. As always, it's BYOB and $20 per player. Contact Tom Fry at 519-525-7147 to book your team's spot.