The lustre of a back-and-forth, comeback win for the Ripley Wolves, Saturday night at the Ripley Arena, was marred by an ugly mugging of a Ripley fan by Petrolia’s captain.
After the handshakes in a fast, hard-nosed game that featured four goals by Ripley’s Brent Walton, Petrolia’s Jeremiah Goodacre left the hallway at the team’s dressing room, forced his way through the crowd – including shoving children – and began punching an unsuspecting Ripley fan outside the referees’ room.
This act of lunacy – unfortunately, not an isolated incident for the team from Chemical Valley – overshadowed what was a fun night at the rink for scores of local hockey fans and many children who were celebrating the game on Minor Hockey Night. While they should be remembering the sublime skill displayed by Walton in netting four goals in the last 22 minutes of the game, they went home talking about what amounted to assault.
Back to the game, the Wolves jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first period on goals by Cody Britton and Nick Seiler, with assists going to Brett Catto, Tyler Soehner and Tyler McCarthy. The wheels came off late in the first and for most of the second, when the Petrolia Squires chased Wolves goalie Jason Hamilton with four goals, none of which were his fault as Ripley looked lost in its own end and the Squires took advantage.
Ripley goalie Kurt Edwards came into the game, steadied the ship and the ice tilted back in Ripley’s favour for the remainder of the game.
Walton stopped the bleeding late in the second with his first goal of the game – with assists going to Soehner and Catto – to send the game to the third with the Wolves trailing, 4-3.
The final frame was all Wolves, as they peppered Petrolia’s goalie with 16 shots to the visiting team’s four, and Walton finished with a natural hat-trick, netting the game winner with five minutes remaining. Assists on his third-period goals went to Catto (2), Soehner (2) and Britton.
The Wolves will host Shallow Lake, Saturday, Dec. 2, at 7 p.m. Before the game, the players will be going door-to-door seeking donations for the local food bank, and providing free passes to the game for those who donate. It is also Tyke Night, so come cheer on our future Wolves between the first and second period!