Sailors end regular season with 8 to 1 win



By Jan Dean

IT was a high-scoring donnybrook for the final game of the regular season last Sunday for the Port Dover Sailors.

They beat the Hespeler Shamrocks with an 8 to 1 score.
Winning wasn’t going to change the standings of either team — the Junior C Sailors sit firmly in sixth place in the Bloomfield division of the PJHL and the Hespeler Shamrocks hold eight place.
But the game did matter for the way it could set up the teams for the first round of the playoffs that begin Tuesday night in Hagersville for the Sailors who will take on the Hagersville Hawks.
The Sailors have had an up and down season and have had trouble putting the puck in the net.
Clearly that wasn’t a problem for them on Sunday afternoon.

Above: Port Dover Sailors around the visitor’s net put pressure on Hespeler’s goalie at Sunday afternoon’s game. Photo by Erwin Ponepal

Scoring began in the first few minutes of the first period with Sailors Nigel Dantas scoring, assisted by Jordan Land.
The Shamrocks answered that goal with a power play goal from Shamrock Dylan Beitz about four minutes later — the only goal the Shamrocks would get in the game.
The goals came thick and fast for the Sailors. Hometown hero Isaac MacAulay picked up two goals and an assist — his first goal came in the first period, assisted by Tyler Heisey and Sam Restivo. Then it was Ashton Mikasko’s turn to score, assisted by George Kapralos.
Sailor Peyton Adam-Matthews scored the only goal in the second period with an assist from Jordan Land.
In the third period came four goals. George Kapralos scored two, the first short-handed with the help of Isaac MacAulay and Peyton Adam-Matthews, the second assisted by Lynden Lemoire and Matt Scanlin.
Peyton Adam-Matthews scored next, his second of the game for the Sailors, assisted by Jordan Land and Sam Restivo.
As the game progressed, it grew increasingly rough. With barely three minutes to go in the final period, Adam-Matthews was hit from behind and had to leave the ice.
During the resulting power play, Sailor Isaac MacAulay scored for the second time, assisted by Connor Hisaw.
It was a rough game. The Shamrocks took a dozen penalties for 26 minutes in the sin bin, plus two game misconducts in the third period. The Sailors had 13 infractions for 34 minutes in the penalty box.
Sailors goalie AJ Scala blocked 41 of 42 shots from the Shamrocks for the win while Shamrocks goalie Connor Pickard got the loss with 38 of 46 shots stopped.
Head Coach Mike Tobin said the Sailors goal was to play a confidence-building game without losing players to injury or suspensions.
“We got eight goals and considering how tough it’s been to score this year, that’s going to build confidence,” said Tobin. “I’m hoping no major injuries.”
That’s especially important for the Sailors who start the first series of the playoffs on Tuesday, Feb. 5, playing a Hagersville Hawks team that’s been on fire for the last six weeks of the regular season.
It was a great game for Sailors forward #22 Isaac MacAulay, who said the second goal he scored was especially satisfying, coming less than a minute after Adam-Matthews left the ice due to a hit from behind.
“I grew up watching the Sailors play,” said the Port Dover native. “It feels really great to be on the hometown team and having my parents come to the games.”
At 18, this is Isaac’s second year as a Sailor and he hopes to continue playing on the team until he turns 21.
Isaac finished high school last spring but opted to take a year off before heading back to school this coming fall.
He worked for John Lennox, the team manager and owner, through the summer and until Christmas. Now he plans to pick up a part-time job and continue working at Shooters Edge where he teaches stick-handling.
“It’s a different kind of training and practice,” said Isaac. “There was nothing like it when I was growing up and it’s the kind of training that really interests me.”
Taking the year off meant having to re-apply to schools, but it also gave him greater perspective on what and where he wants to be.
“I’m going to go to Mohawk College for a program that leads to physiotherapy and helping people rehab,” said Isaac. “I also like the idea of maybe being a personal trainer.”
Moving to Hamilton for school will also allow him to continue playing for the Sailors.
But for now, it’s time to focus on the playoffs — specifically taking on the Hagersville Hawks.
The first game in the series is set for Tuesday night in Hagersville with the second game scheduled for Thursday night at the Port Dover Arena.
Check the Sailors’ website for upcoming game information.


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