The Appleby Sharks are off to an unusually good start in the regular season.
The Sharks are 2-0 and on top of the 12U division of the WestTel Youth Roller Hockey League.
Thus far the team has put up solid numbers. The side leads the league in goals with 22 and has allowed the fewest goals in the division with four.
Those numbers were boosted in large part with their recent 10-4 mauling of perennial league power Citco Canadiens.
The squads faced off last Saturday at the WestTel Arena in King’s Sports Centre in front of a small but enthusiastic crowd of well-wishers and supporters.
As has become tradition with the league, players rotate among the teams each year. The premise is to keep the competition high but in this year’s case it may have unleashed a beast in the Sharks.
Granted a lot of the players on the squad were relatively new to the sport. On Saturday a few players did have trouble maintaining balance and didn’t look too steady while checking.
But many, like veteran Ben Black, have a good feel for the sport. In fact the veteran presence was a big reason why the Sharks seem to be constantly clicking on offense.
The first half showed the Sharks knew how to work passes around the arena well. The wingers did an impressive job of keeping the puck around the boards and working it across the neutral zone to open up space to skate in the middle.
From there the baby blue monsters ravaged the Canadiens’ goal. Shots seemed to come at a non-stop pace, often leaving the poor goalkeeper confused and battered.
By half-time the Sharks had taken a big bite out of the Citco’s will to play. With some five goals already on the board, the Sharks were a content bunch during the interval.
Meanwhile Canadiens coach Patrick Agemian did his best to rally the troops. He could be seen going around to his defenders encouraging them to stay focused and urging his wingers to generate goal-scoring chances.
The second half would be a somewhat redeeming one for the Canadiens. The squad made a point to dump and chase pucks behind the opponent’s goal, which often resulted in some interesting opportunities to score.
Nevertheless the Sharks had the Canadiens firmly between their teeth and weren’t about to let them go. Appleby would continue to rain down shots and their defensemen did not fall asleep behind their blue lines.
In a way the final whistle was a merciful end to the Canadiens’ day. The Sharks were pleased and their coaches looked content. Coach Agemian meanwhile had only positive things to tell his team.
At least he can take some solace in the performance of his son Alex Agemian. Alex nabbed a hat-trick in a losing effort. Daniel Harrington added the other goal while Graeme Hill and Alexander Wilkins chipped in with an assist each.
For the Sharks experience made all the difference on the score sheet. Tynan Klein had an astonishing seven goals on the day with Mark Reid adding a hat trick and an assist. Ben Black played a big part in the offense as well and had two assists.
In the other 12U division game Five-Continents Leafs and Conyers Canucks made for an explosive match. When the smoke settled the Leafs would beat up the Canucks by a score of 9-3.
Conyers kept the score-keepers busy as Finn Walker slotted home four goals while five other players had a goal.
Meanwhile the Leafs did their best to keep up as Sean Whewell had two goals and Michael Matthews had the other.
There were four other games on Saturday starting from 10am.
Game one saw UBS Panthers tie Animal House Penguins 4-4. Jered Holmes and Cameron Galloway were the stars with hat tricks each.
In game two KPMG Senators took down Caledonian Kings 3-1. Ryan Lloyd, Oliver Bishop and Joanah Narborough led the way for KPMG while Jack Lewis prevented a shutout for Caledonian.
From there RBC-Trust Lightning beat down Walkers Blue Iguanas 7-3 and Maples Stars edged out Coldwell-Banker Rangers 6-5.
The league now boasts three divisions in the 12U, 9U and 6U. In total the league now has 12 teams.
Week 3 of the league will be tomorrow with six games on tap starting from nine in the morning.
The games are as follows: KPMG goes against UBS at 9am, Animal House takes on Caledonian at 10am, Coldwell-Banker battles RBC-Trust at 11am, Walkers face Maples at 12noon, Appleby fights Five-Continents at 1pm and Conyers challenges Citco at 2pm.
Athletic Director at King’s Sports Centre Ray Singh said he is happy with the league thus far.
‘With the jerseys finally in we had a fantastic weekend of hockey. Week 2 saw some very close games and the league is very happy to see the parents getting into the cheering spirit.’