Norwich Merchants fall to Ayr and Tavistock

By Colin Percy

A tough pair of games came across the Norwich Merchants when they visited the first place Ayr Centennials on Nov. 16 before hosting the third place Tavistock Braves on Nov. 17.

On Nov. 16 in Ayr, the Merchants were behind the eight ball early when Ayr slotted home the opening goal 12:32 into the game. Harlen Vanwysnberghe knotted the game at aces late in the opening frame. The second period was rough with Norwich seeing the home team bury three shots without response from Norwich. It became 5-1 midway through the third period, but Brandon Velda restored the deficit to three just seconds later. Unfortunately that goal would halt the Merchants’ comeback as they fell 5-2 to the defending Schmalz Cup champions. Seth Lamoure, Blake Pow (2) and Damon Lemmon notched assists for Norwich wbile Tyler Gubesch made 38 saves in the loss.

Norwich returned home Nov. 17 to host the Tavistock Braves and it was another tough start for Norwich as the Braves roared out to a 2-0 lead 11:34 into the game. Velda cut the lead in half seconds later when his blasted home his eighth goal of the season. Matt Larochelle slipped home a goal eight minutes into the second period – that frame's only goal - to knot the game at deuces, but the third period saw the floodgates open.

Norwich took command of the game when Simon Storoschuk scored 3:47 into the game. The Braves took control back by scoring four times in a 3:38 span to stun the Merchants. Pow extended his point streak to 11 games by jotting home his 18th of the season with 8:54 remaining, but Norwich's momentum was halted 31 seconds later when Tavistock scored 31 seconds later. Lemmon would slip home his second of the season with 18 seconds left, but Norwich still fell 7-5 to the Braves. Riley Monture, Ryan Dayman, Pow (3), Storoschuk, Larochelle and Alex Sutherland had assists while Brandon McIntosh made 35 saves in the loss.

Norwich now have a pair of home games. On Friday they host the Wellesley Apple Jacks at 8 p.m. on Champions Night. The team will be honouring the 1969/70 All Ontario Junior D Champions and the 1985/86 All Ontario Junior Schmalz Cup champions during the first intermission. Legendary opera singer and Norwich native Jon Avey is scheduled to perform O Canada for the night. On Saturday, Norwich host Delhi at 7:30 p.m.


The Norwich Merchants are now accepting sponsors for the Doherty Division All-Star/Prospects game on Jan. 6, 2018. For $250, you or your business can reap multiple benefits at the event that sees all nine teams and fans don on Norwich for an afternoon of fun. See any Merchant executive for further details.