Injuries and illness have taken a toll on the Guelph Hurricanes lineup and it has shown over the past few weeks. Head coach Adam Wallace has rarely inked a full 20-man lineup for a game and it came into play once again this weekend.
Saturday night at Sleeman Centre the Hurricanes ran into a Brantford team searching for consistency as well as an experienced goaltender who had his best performance of the season. Mat Woroniuk, who played 14 games for the North Bay Battalion last season, made his fifth start of the GOJHL season for the 99ers shutting down the Guelph shooters for 59 minutes. He stopped 30 of 31 shots faced helping Brantford to a 4-1 victory.
A strong start for the home team saw 13 shots in the scoreless opening period. Things continued that way until Louis Latta scored on the power play at 13:14 of the second frame. Mitchell Devins-Cann would add another just 1:16 later to give the 99ers a 2-0 advantage.
Despite the defeceit Guelph would continue to search for a goal to get back into the game. Another quick two-goal burst by Brantford made it 4-0 at 7:46. Kitchener native Nathan George would end the shutout bid by scoring his first GOJHL goal with :44 on the game clock to give the Hurricanes something positive to take away from the loss.
The next night the team would make the short trip down Highway 7 to face their rival in Kitchener for the fourth time this season. The Dutchmen had won the previous three meetings all played in Guelph. This night the home team would win once again defeating the Hurricanes 2-0.
Ben Demoe would score first for Kitchener at 9:31 before Ukraine import Yurii Potsiluienko made it 2-0 late in the first with his first goal as a Dutchmen.
The teams would play a scoreless second before Sam Shaw made it 3-0 at 12:54 of the final period. A timeout with just under seven minutes to go saw the Hurricanes pull their goaltender and score with a goal by Keanan Stewart. It would not be enough though as the Dutchmen added an empty net goal to make the final 4-1.
Guelph call timeout and pull the goaltender – and it pays off! Keanan Stewart scores to cut the Kitchener lead to 3-1. #GOJHL
— Guelph Hurricanes (@GuelphCanes) December 4, 2017
NOTES: Hurricanes owner Scott Hunter announced Sunday that the team had hired Bill Wallace as general manager. Wallace had previously held the same position with the Woodstock Navy Vets.