EXETER — The Exeter Hawks enter the Christmas break still just barely behind Dorchester in the SOJHL standings, with head coach Dale Timmermans saying his team will need to “pick up their play,” if they want to get ahead.
The Hawks were matched up against the Lucan Irish Dec. 18. In what was the fourth and final game between the two rival teams for this season. Lucan had lost the first three games against the Hawks this season, so the Irish were hoping to get in at least one win to show the Hawks what they’re made of.
Lucan’s Dawson Cook scored first in the first period on a power play, assisted by Jamie Brzozowski and Ian Vandenheuvel. After some back and forth, Exeter was leading by one by the end of the first.
But Lucan showed they weren’t going to let Exeter skate by so easily, and in the second period Lucan’s Noah Campbell scored three times, without Exeter managing a single goal in retaliation.
“We started off a little sluggish. We had to come back in the third,” said Campbell. “We definitely weren’t playing our best for the first two periods.”
In the third, Exeter took back control with goals by Tyler Kettler, Sam Vokes and two by Max Naus.
Despite a strong effort by Lucan, the Hawks won 7-5.
Exeter’s next game was against North Middlesex on Dec. 19. Since North Middlesex is currently dragging at the bottom of the standings, with only three wins this season, it seemed likely Exeter would take an easy win.
That prediction turned to certainty as the Hawks crushed the North Middlesex Stars with a final score of 13-5.
Neither team racked up many penalties during the game, but the most serious came in the third period when Hawks player Adam Gibb was penalized with a game misconduct.
Gibb was given two minutes for slashing, but he then argued with the ref over the ruling, and was given two counts of abuse of officials.
“If you question with the wrong attitude, you’ll get abuse of an official,” said Campbell. “Basically, just a 17 year old with too much testosterone.”
The Hawks will break for holidays and return to the ice Jan. 2, away against the Aylmer Spitfires.
The Hawks won’t be playing at the South Huron Recreation Centre again until Jan. 22 against Port Stanley. Nine games remain in the season for Exeter, including one more game against the Dorchester Dolphins on Jan. 23.
One of the Hawks top scorers, Chase Thornton, remains out of action with an injured knee. He was forced to be absent from the past two weeks.
“Hopefully, by the middle of January, we’ll get him back. He’s still not looking good,” Campbell said.
The Lucan Irish will be on their home ice to play next against Aylmer on Jan. 6. The Irish have eight games remaining in the season.