Merchants fall to Ayr and Woodstock
Norwich Merchant Daniel Rizzo chases the puck behind the Ayr Centennials' net during a home game in Norwich on Friday. After a hard fought game, Norwich ended up losing to the visitors 4-2.
Things didn't exactly go as planned for the Norwich Merchants this past weekend after dropping both games they played.
On Friday, the division leading Ayr Centennials came to Norwich on the Merchants' annual teddy bear/winter clothing toss night. The Cens opened the scoring 3:34 into the game – the lone goal of the first period that saw Norwich outshoot Ayr 11-10. The fans would be able to throw their Christmas donations onto the ice when Troy Lamoure tied the game 1:32 into the second period. Riley Monture would put Norwich ahead moments later, but the lead was short lived as the Cens tied the game 44 seconds after that setting up an exciting third period with the teams tied at 2.
The teams traded chances throughout the first 10 minutes, but it was Ayr who would find a go-ahead goal at the 11:07 mark. That lead would be doubled 2:04 later forcing Norwich to play comeback. A pair of late Ayr penalties provided Norwich hope, but they couldn't capitalize on the man advantage falling to Ayr 4-2. Damon Lemmon, Derek Slaght, Brett Parsons and Mason Cooper notched assists for Norwich while Tyler Gubesch stopped 39 of 43 shots faced in the loss.
On Saturday, Norwich headed down Highway 59 to take on the Woodstock Navy Vets. The game started impressived for Norwich with Ryan Dayman and Ray Munro scoring 45 seconds apart to give Norwich a 2-0 lead. Woodstock would claw one back with 4 seconds left in the first period and then tie the game 7:17 into the second. Woodstock would take their first lead four minutes later sending Norwich to the dressing room trailing by 1. Norwich would press throughout the third period, but with 4:53 left in the game Woodstock would poke home another goal and hold on for the 4-2 win. Jordan Gillis, Blake Pow, Brandon Velda and Slaght registered assists for Norwich while Tysen Taylor made 18 saves and Gubesch with nine saves in relief.
The Norwich Merchants now prepare for a busy stretch with three games in four nights. On Tuesday, they'll head to Burford for a 7:30 p.m. game against the Bulldogs. They will wrap up their 3 game road trip in Ayr on Thursday night also at 7:30 p.m. They return home for an 8 p.m. game on Friday against the Tavistock Braves.
On Friday, Dec 23 following Norwich's 8 p.m. home game against the Burford Bulldogs, the team will be holding their annual Christmas Chili Party featuring Shirley Miller's World Famous Chili along with some pizzas. All are welcome.