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Caps split weekend contests
The Walkerton Capitals were edged out 9-8 by Durham in an exciting game Saturday evening, one night after Walkerton picked up a shootout win in Lucknow.
Friday night’s win moved Walkerton to within two points of the Lancers for the final WOAA North Division playoff spot. Brady Houston had the game winner in the shootout, while Jason Hamilton stopped all three Lucknow shooters.
Kenny Stanley opened the scoring after a turnover at the Walkerton line, but Tim Dwinnell made it 1-1 when he banged home a pass from Nathan Perrott. Andy Cline also assisted on the power play tally. Lucknow regained the lead less than two minutes later on a Zak O’Krafka goal. Walkerton drew even in the second period, when Cline scored off a nice pass from Shawn Bechtloff. Jarris Ireland scored the go-ahead goal from Luke Snider and Josh Howald, and the game remained 3-2 until late in the third period. Rick Andrew scored from Matt McClinchey, and Walkerton was headed for overtime for the straight game. Five minutes of overtime solved nothing, and Houston was the only player to score in the shootout to give Walkerton its first win of 2012.
Hamilton stopped 36 shots, plus three shootout attempts; to get the win, while Ben Dorscht faced 51 Walkerton shots, 17 of them in the third period.
The next night in Walkerton, the Caps showed a ton of heart to battle back from an 8-2 deficit, but came up just short in a 9-8 loss to the Durham Thundercats.
Jason Tremble opened the scoring seven minutes in to give Durham a 1-0 lead, and two goals in a 20 second span made it 3-0 before Cline scored to get Walkerton on the board. Durham, however, made it 4-1 with a power play goal before the period ended. Bobby McMann’s second goal of the game made it 5-1 with the second period just 31 seconds old. Bechtloff scored to make it 5-1, but three more Durham goals gave the Thundercats a commanding 8-2 lead. Cline scored his second of the game before the period ended to make it 8-3 after two periods of play.
Cory MacDonald scored a gorgeous goal just after a spirited bout between Vince Wand and Durham’s Brad Watson, and Greg Tiffen banged home a rebound seven seconds later to this an 8-5 game. Two minutes later, Bechtloff took a pass from MacDonald and blasted a shot from the point to cut Durham’s lead to two goals. Mike Huber made it 8-7 from Bechtloff and Ireland, but Tremble gave the T-Cats some breathing room, scoring his third goal of the night while on a man advantage. With Hamilton on the bench for an extra attacker, Houston scored to make it 9-8, but Walkerton could not find the equalizer.
Hamilton made 28 saves, while former Walkerton Hawks goaltender Clayton Fritsch is credited with the win, He stopped 25 shots and allowed seven goals in two periods of work, replacing Scott Kuglin after the first period.
Walkerton has just five regular season games remaining, and one this Friday night. The Caps will be in Palmerston to take on Minto-Mapleton. Walkerton’s next home game is also against Minto-Mapleton, next Saturday evening (Jan. 21) at 6:30 p.m. On Jan. 20, the Capitals will visit the Shelburne Muskies.