By Pete Chiodo
The Meadville hockey team will end the week with a trip up to Ontario, Canada for a two- to three-day tournament in Niagara Falls.
Now, along with their skates, sticks and pads, the Bulldogs can pack a little momentum as well.
Monday night at the DeArment Ice Arena, the area hockey program snapped a two-game losing streak with a lopsided victory over Lakeshore Hockey League opponent Jamestown (N.Y.), 6-0.
“Yeah, wins haven’t been coming as often as we would like,” said Meadville head coach Jamie Plunkett. “So from a confidence standpoint, this was good. We’re going to a tournament in Niagara Falls on Thursday and it will be nice to go in there with a win.”
With that win, the Meadville half of the Bulldogs/Flames program improved to 3-5-1 on the season and 2-0-1 in the Lakeshore Hockey League.
“It was nice just to get some goals,” said Plunkett. “We’ve really struggled to score. It was nice to get the shutout for our goaltenders who have been under siege throughout this year.”
Austin Guanzon earned the shutout in goal for the Bulldogs, needing just 14 saves to get it. Of the five wins the Meadville/Crawford County program has this season, three have been by shutout.
On the offensive end, Bryan Ray led the way with two goals and an assist.
He had the first two tallies of the night. Just 1:10 into the game, Ray corralled the puck after a faceoff and whipped it inside the near post past goalie Hans Shober.
Then four minutes later. Tim Crow made a nice pass out of the defensive zone that was tipped by a defender, slowing it down enough for Ray to catch up to it for a breakaway opportunity. Showing some patience, Ray streaked right up to the crease, let Shober make his move, and then backhanded the puck into the roof of the net to put the score at 2-0.
Ray then was credited with an assist on the third and final goal of the opening period. This one was scored by Josh Orr, who slapped it in stick-side from the bottom of the faceoff circle.
Kameron Betts made it 4-0 with 2:30 elapsed in the second period, finding a rebound in the circle, squaring it up and then hammering it home. Crow also had an assist on that goal, his third helper of the game.
Trevor Johnson then scored on an unassisted goal in the second period. His initial slapshot was high over the net. But he retrieved it from behind the cage, brought it back in front and then shot it past Shober’s glove.
John Gizzie then put the final marker on the board for Meadville, getting a nice centering pass from the baseline from Steven Shafer and delivering it to the twine.
Meadville had 40 shots total in the game.
“I’ve been happy with the way we’ve been practicing lately. I think we have made some improvement,” said Plunkett. “It’s kind of a slow process but I’m seeing improvement and we’re doing things better than we were four, five, six weeks ago. So, now the thing is trying to build on it.
“Even when things haven’t gone well I’ve been really impressed with our work habit and our attitude, so I really have to give the seniors credit for keeping things together,” said Plunkett. “It’s just been tough trying to get wins. ... Some of it’s been our youth. Some of it’s been our composure, of lack of. But hopefully we’re headed in the right direction.”