(WHEATLEY, ON) – The Wheatley Sharks have strung together two wins and find themselves in the middle of the PJHL Stobbs Division pack with a 9-8-1 record. The Sharks could move 2 games above .500 as they get ready to host the Wallaceburg Lakers Saturday evening at Wheatley Arena.
On Monday, the Sharks set the table for the Blenheim Blades and opened the scoring on a tally by Alixe Saliba from Justin Pinsonneault and Matt Taylor at 8:58 of the 1st period. Blenheim was quick to draw even, and then moved into the lead on a 2nd frame goal just before the closing horn.
In a wild 3rd period, Wheatley broke through the 1st place Blades defense for 3 goals before 10 minutes had passed. Jake Pickersgill got things going at 1:05 on an unassisted notch. The Sharks then went in front on a goal by Calyn Kir with a helper going to Jack Leafeve. Wheatley established a 2-goal lead when Pinsonneault and Saliba set up Nick Tavolieri-Essex.
With the Blenheim net empty in favour of an extra attacker, Tavolieri-Essex fired his second of the night. However, on the play, Saliba was assessed a double minor for high sticking that would set the stage for a crazy finish.
The Blades were able to beat Tyler Dillon for two power play goals to draw within one and make the match interesting, with less than a minute on the clock. Under pressure from the Blades and two men down, Tavolieri-Essex completed the hat trick with 9 seconds as he found the empty net a second time.
The Sharks then travelled to meet the Lakers on Wednesday. The home side opened the scoring in what would become a defensive nightmare.
The 1st period ended at 1-1 after Ryan Zsebok beat Zach Lindley between the Wallaceburg pipes, from Brett Enns and Cam Pickersgill at 9:48.
The last place Lakers surprised the Sharks with 4 goals during the 2nd period. To their credit, Wheatley didn’t look toward the next match and concentrated on staying in the game. Dawson Iles and Saliba, from Evan Mastronardi and Cam Pickersgill, kept the damage to a minimum, ending 40 minutes with a Wallaceburg 5-3 lead.
Do doubt there were some words of advice for the Wheatley players from head coach Dave Wiper between the periods. And he had an effect on his charges as the Sharks accounted for 3 tallies, one from Zsebok and two from Pinsonneault, to take a 1-goal lead. The Lakers tied it up at 6 apiece with just under 5 minutes left, but 2 late goals from Saliba and Leafeve staked Wheatley to an 8-6 win.
Dillon faced 28 shots for his second straight win.
The Sharks now prepare themselves to meet the Lakers again, this Saturday, at Wheatley Arena. The puck drops at 7:00pm.