Sports

Norwich Merchants closing in on 4th place in standings

By Colin Percy

The Norwich Merchants were looking to carry forward the momentum from their recent three victories when they hit the road for a pair of matches.

On Friday, Nov. 10 the team visited the Woodstock Navy Vets in the Battle of 59.

It was a tough start for Norwich as the Vets scored 5:58 into the game. Most of the first period action saw Norwich play in their own end. When the buzzer sounded, Woodstock out-shot the Merchants 17-3, but Merchants goaltender Tyler Gubesch kept Norwich in the game giving up only the one goal. Norwich attacked better in the second period and at the 8:12 mark, Blake Pow extended his goal scoring streak to four games and point streak to eight games thanks to his 14th of the season.

A Norwich penalty moments later proved costly, as the Vets capitalized with the extra man to take a 2-1 lead after 40 minutes. Norwich would press hard in the third period outshooting the Navy Vets 11-6, but would not find an equalizer falling by one goal to their county rivals. Harlen VanWynsberghe had the lone Norwich assist while Gubesch was spectacular stopping 34 of 36 shots faced.

The Merchants looked to rebound on Saturday night, Nov. 11 when they visited the Paris Mounties.

Norwich would not have a slow start in back-to-back nights as Pow continued his hot play, scoring 57 seconds into the game. Newcomer Peter Cappucci made it 2-0 five minutes later and Norwich wasn't done there. Pow made it 3-0 with 6:43 left and Ryan Dayman sniped home his second of the season 15 seconds later as Norwich led 4-0 after the first period.

The Mounties would claw one back 1:30 into the second period – that frame's only goal. Pow would complete the hat trick 7:46 into the third period. Paris would answer back with a goal 5:49 later. Dayman would add an empty netter with 1:50 left to put the game to bed as Norwich won 6-2 to pull within four points of Paris for fourth place in the standings. Alex Sutherland, Simon Storoschuk, John Foreman, Troy Lamoure (2), Seth Lamoure and Brandon Velda had the assists for Norwich while Gubesch was solid again making 38 saves in the win.

Norwich faced another tough week as they were to close out their three-game road trip on Thursday night in Ayr. Norwich return home on Friday night when they host the third place Tavistock Braves at 8 p.m.

On Saturday, the team will be holding their fall fish fry at the Norwich Community Centre. The event features an all you can eat perch and pickerel dinner with all the fixings along with a dance with DJ Brian Grosvold.

There will also be a live and silent auction taking place with a number of items up for grabs including a week rental at a vacation house in Florida, a Honda motor, a wheelbarrow of booze, a golf package, NHL jerseys, a park bench, a pair of Toronto Maple Leaf tickets, several London Knights tickets, a signed Glenn Howard curling sweater, an LA Kings jacket, a handmade quilt and a stained glass piece featuring the Merchants 50th season logo among several other items that have been generously donated by several people and businesses. There are still tickets available for $30 from any Merchant executive member or by calling or texting 519-532-6704.

OVERTIME

On Jan. 6, 2018, the Norwich Merchants will be holding the PJHL Doherty Division All-Star and Prospects game. Sponsorships are now available for $250. Contact any Merchant executive member for a package.