Orillia team currently sitting in last place in division
Dave Dawson/The Packet & Times Orillia forward Ben Schryer managed to get in behind the Stayner defence and got a Grade A scoring opportunity that was foiled by Siskins goalie Zach Levac. Moments later, Schryer scored to give the Terriers a short-lived 1-0 advantage. Stayner cruised to a 14-1 win over the Terriers in a Wednesday night contest at Rotary Place.
There was a moment, with six minutes left in the second period, that aptly summarized the very short season, to date, for the Subaru of Orillia Terriers. While on a power play, the sloppy Terriers surrendered a two-on-one that ended in another goal for Stayner and further deepened the hole the home side found themselves in.
After the dispiriting goal, netminder Kurtis Stacey skated to the corner with his head down looking utterly defeated, while defenceman and captain Matt Vince looked heavenward, frustration etched on his face. His defence partner, Ben Garrett, skated back to the bench shaking his head in disappointment.
That Stayner goal made the score 9-1 for the visitors who cruised to a spirit-crushing 14-1 triumph before just over 80 fans at Rotary Place. It is the low-point in a young season that sees the Terriers sitting dead last in the North Carruthers Division of the Provincial Junior Hockey League. The 0-3 Terriers have been outscored 34-6 in their first three games - all played on home ice.
The Terriers started strong Wednesday night and, early on, caught the Siskins puck-watching. Rookie Ben Schryer, centering a line with Ethan Harrison and Wil Skalowski, scored just 74 seconds into the contest to give the home side a 1-0 advantage. It appeared the Terriers would give the Siskins a battle; they held off the surging Stayner attack for the next seven minutes.
But Stayner's high-octane offence found its stride and they quickly became unstoppable. The Siskins dominated the remainder of the game, outshooting the Terriers 53-27 and controlling every facet of a game in which the outcome was never in doubt.
Morgan Penwell got the start in net for Orillia, but was pulled 13 minutes into the first period after allowing three goals on 19 shots. Kurtis Stacey played the rest of the game. He faced 34 shots and gave up 11 goals and, while he fought the puck all night, he got very little help from his defence as Stayner attacked in waves and had numerous two-on-one chances and clear-cut breakaways.
For the Terriers, it was a tough night. Once again, a lack of players hurt the squad. On the bench were just 14 players - enough for three lines and two pairs of blueliners. That translated, again, into a short-handed team that faded quickly under unrelenting pressure from Stayner, one of the league's top teams.
It may get worse before it gets better. Veteran forward Jake Beard, who had just been acquired in a trade, suffered a high ankle sprain late in the team's Saturday night loss and will be out of the lineup for a month. To compound matters, Tyler Thomas, the power forward who was one of new coach/GM Keith Penna's first off-season signings, has left the team. He has expressed a desire to play closer to home (Fenelon Falls).
The schedule will also not help the short-staffed Terriers. Orillia travels to Midland for a Friday night game against the Flyers and then will be back at Rotary Place Saturday night for a 7:30 p.m. contest against rival Penetang. On Sunday, the squad will complete a tough three-games-in-four-nights stretch when they travel to Mitchell (20 kilometres northwest of Stratford) to take on the Hawks, who are off to a 3-1 start.
TERRIER TALES: It sounded like a symphony at times behind the Terriers goalies as the Siskins hit the crossbar twice and hit the post five times in the game's opening 40 minutes. Schryer's line was the only line that generated any offence for the Terriers Wednesday night. One bright spot for the Terriers has been their penalty killing; Orillia has not allowed a single power-play goal so far this season.