Muskoka Wild Suffers First Loss in Regulation to the Visiting Grey Highlands Hawks

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Coming off a triumphant victory over the Essa Stallions on Friday, the Muskoka Wild fell 5-2 to the Grey-Highland Hawks on Saturday evening at Port Carling Arena.  The defeat marked both the Wild’s first loss in regulation time during their inaugural season of the Canadian Premier Junior Hockey League (CPJHL), and their first loss on home ice. A four-goal performance by the Hawk’s Skylar Robertson helped the Hawks edge out a victory and claw back two points over the the league-leading Muskoka Wild.

The Wild opened the scoring in the first period, as Brandon Pheasant closed on a setup from Jeremiah Cooper and Devin Gates at 15:53. Gates would add to the Wild’s lead at 1:34, with assists to Angus MacGibbon and Brandon Pheasant. The Wild looked to be in control of the game, however the Hawks cut the lead in half with only one second remaining in the opening frame; the first of what would prove to be five unanswered goals. Skylar Robertson scored, assisted by Robin Mickelsson, and the Hawk’s headed to their dressing room with the momentum.

The grit of the game picked up in the second and several power play opportunities emerged, but none were capitalized on. The teams traded attacks, as shots were even at 14 in the second, but only the Hawk’s efforts paid off. With 3:34 left in the period Robertson tied the game on a pass from Colin Brady and the Hawk’s skated into the third with the game tied.

Both teams fought hard for the first half of the third, and at 10:31 the Wild took a minor penalty and found themselves short-handed.  Capitalizing on the man advantage, Robertson completed the hat trick on an assist from John Mcrae, and the Hawks took the lead for the first time in the contest.  The Hawks maintained the pressure, and with just under six minutes remaining, Daniel Bureau loaned Robertson some scoring assistance and buried goal number four. Robertson, the first star of the game, picked up an assist on the play along with Mcrae, his second point of the evening. With the Wild’s net empty, Robertson buried goal number four with 1:17 remaining to cement the victory. The Hawks played well, and Robertson shined, but local Devin Gates still earned himself third star as he posted a two-point night.

“It is always tough to lose,” said Scott Baker post-game.  “The Hawks played well and Robertson really helped them out tonight.” Commenting on the fact that this was the Wild’s first regulation loss he said, “we knew it was going to come, with a league full of experienced owners, coaches, and talented players, but it still stings. Still, I’m confident that the boys will come out strong against Seaforth tomorrow and return home with another victory.” If the Wild are able to best Seaforth tonight, that will leave them 2-1-0 on the weekend.

Puck drop in Seaforth is scheduled for 7:30pm.

Photo courtesy of Dorothy Duck.

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