Norwich Merchants fall to Paris Mounties and Tavistock Braves
The Norwich Merchants were looking to carry forward the momentum from a three-point weekend when they took on the streaking Paris Mounties and first place Tavistock Braves over the Dec. 8 weekend.
The team hosted Paris on Friday night, Dec. 8 and caught the visitors off guard when Blake Pow deflected home a shot 56 seconds into the game. The lead quickly vanished when Paris equalized 1:24 later. Paris would take their first lead with 5:37 left in the first period before Harlen Vanwynsberghe slotted in his sixth goal of the season in the frame's final minute to send the teams to the dressing room knotted at two.
The second period was very different for Norwich. To say the least, it was disastrous. Paris scored 3:37 into the second period and again at the 6:05 mark. They would add two more in a 1:23 span to lead by four. Paris wasn’t done there as they found the back of the net three more times in the period before Dan Gallagher scored with 26 seconds left. The damage was done though as Paris took a 9-3 lead into the third period.
Norwich came out with some jump in the third period, coming close at times including a shot off the crossbar, but couldn't mount an historic comeback and falling 9-3 to their Brant County rivals. Gallagher had the lone Norwich assist while Brandon McIntosh made 17 saves and Tyler Gubesch eight in the loss.
On Saturday afternoon, Dec. 9, the team traveled to Tavistock to take on the Braves for the final time this season. This time it was Norwich that was caught off guard when Tavistock scored 23 seconds into the game. They would add a powerplay goal 4:44 later and made it a three-goal lead 2:22 into the second period. Ryan Dayman wired home a shorthanded goal 21 seconds later to get Norwich on the board. Vanwynsberghe cut the lead to one 1:41 later. Tavistock would add one more to restore their two-goal lead before the second period buzzer sounded. Tavistock put the game to rest scoring a powerplay goal and a short-handed tally in the third period. Seth Lamoure would add a consolation prize in the final minute, but Norwich still fell 6-3 to the Braves. Pow had the lone assist for Norwich while McIntosh made 37 saves in the loss.
Norwich will look to rebound with a pair of road games this weekend including a vital tilt on Friday when the visit the New Hamburg Firebirds at 7:30 p.m. New Hamburg sits only one point ahead of Norwich in the standings. Norwich wraps up the weekend on Saturday at 8 p.m. when they visit the winless Delhi Travellers.
The Norwich Merchants have a couple of exciting events on the horizon. On Friday, Dec. 22, they host the Burford Bulldogs at 8 p.m. This will also feature the team's annual Christmas Chili Party featuring Shirley Miller's world famous chili along with some pizza. All are welcome.
On Saturday, Jan. 6, the team will host the PJHL Doherty Division All-Star & Prospects game. The all-star game starts at 4:30 p.m. with the prospects hitting the ice at 7:30 p.m. $10 gets people into both games. Sponsorships are also available for $250. Contact an Merchant executive member or call 519-532-6704 for further details.