Sailors prepare for playoffs


Sailors lose to Glanbrook
on Sunday but a whole lot better game than last week

By Jan Dean

LOSING by a score of 10 to 1 is never ideal, but the Port Dover Junior C Sailors showed a lot more game on Sunday afternoon when they played the first place Glanbrook Rangers for the second time in just over a week..
For one thing, they got on the scoreboard with a second period goal from George Kapralos, assisted by Brent Mio and Peyton Adams-Matthews.
Another plus was the Sailors attitude. They came out ready to skate and battle for the puck from the get-go in the first period.
They played aggressively, even getting the first shot on goal and out-shooting Glanbrook 17 to 12 in the first period. Glanbrook came out of the first period with two goals from Noah Matteson.
Glanbrook’s other goals came from David Wilson, Jacob Buch, Nicholas Bisser, former Sailors forward Connor MQuhae, Dawson Shackelton and Lukas VanBerkel.
The winning goalie for Glanbrook was Warren Lament who stopped 30 shots.
Sailors goalie Andrew Hawkins stopped 32 shots.
Sailors Head Coach Mike Tobin said the score may have been similar to the last time they played Glanbrook, but the Sailors game was a whole lot better.
With the playoffs just a few weeks away, the Sailors won’t be moving up or down in the standings.
The focus now is on preparing for the playoffs.
That means that winning or losing a game is less important than improving their play.
“This week we played with real effort,” he said. “We gave them their goals when we made mistakes, but it’s definitely getting better. We can beat this team but it has to be a low-scoring game, like 3 to 2 or 2 to 1.”
Sailors’ goal-scorer George Kapralos believes that.
“It’s always a team effort, moving the puck and competing,” he said. “There’s always the next game to play and a chance to regroup.”
The 19-year-old from Etobicoke dreamed of playing in the OHL and even as a pro when he was growing up.
That all seemed to end when he was 17 and broke his wrist badly while playing hockey. Surgery strengthened the wrist with a metal pin, followed by months of physiotherapy.
“Doctors told me I might never be able to play hockey again and I hung up my skates,” said George. “I accepted that but I missed hockey.”
Now in his second year of accounting at the University of Guelph, George started training again and went to talk to the coaches of the University of Guelph hockey team. It so happened that Sailors general manager and owner John Lennox was meeting with the Guelph coaches that afternoon.
George met with Lennox and has been a Sailor ever since.
The Sailors’ relationship with the University of Guelph helped make that happen, but just as important is the Sailors commitment to education.
“Accounting is a tough course and hockey takes a lot of time,” said George. “Doing both is challenging and it takes time management. The Sailors van that takes us [students from University of Guelph] to and from practices and games makes a big difference because we can study and work while we’re travelling.”
He tries to be in the gym every day to train and is on ice three to four times a week. He also loves playing shinny on outdoor ponds — something he did over New Year’s when he and some friends went to a cottage.
The arrangement has worked out well for both sides. George is the top scorer for the Sailors this year, with 27 points.
Now that he’s playing hockey again, he’s dreaming hockey dreams again – to play on the University of Guelph Varsity Hockey Team.
But this year he’s happy to be a Sailor and playing hockey again.
The Sailors next home game is Sunday, Jan. 20 at 2 pm.

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