Team falls to the bottom of the standings for division
Dave Dawson/The Packet & Times Terriers forward Corey Miller is surrounded by a pair of Schomberg Cougars during action at Rotary Place. The Terriers were easy prey for the Cougars, who jumped out to a 4-0 lead en route to earning a 7-2 triumph Saturday night. The next afternoon, Stayner crushed Orillia 11-2. The Terriers have just four games remaining in the regular season.
As the Provincial Junior Hockey League's regular season winds down, the Davenport Subaru Orillia Terriers have fallen into the bottom of the standings - a dangerous position they wanted to avoid.
The slumping Terriers were thumped twice on the weekend as they were outscored 18-4 in a pair of lopsided losses that dropped their record to 13-24-0 and slides them into seventh spot in the eight-team Carruthers Division. While all eight teams qualify for the playoffs, the Terriers desperately wanted to finish in the top six to avoid a first-round matchup with Stayner or Alliston, who are heads and shoulders above any of their rivals.
"We're not that far out of third place - the teams are really bunched together in the standings," Terriers winger Mike Barroso said recently. "We know how important these games are...we don't want to finish seventh or eighth and have to play Alliston or Stayner in the first round."
Unfortunately for the Terriers, it is looking more and more like they will finish in seventh spot. With 26 points, they are 10 points ahead of last-place Caledon, but will only be able to move up to sixth if Schomberg suffers a monumental collapse; the Cougars are one point ahead of the Terriers and have played three fewer games. To make matters worse, two of the Terriers' final four regular-season games are against a vastly superior Alliston team, whose 28-4-1 record has them just five points behind first-place Stayner.
Heading into last weekend, the Terriers had some control over their destiny. They entered Saturday night's critical contest against visiting Schomberg one point in front of their rivals. But the Terriers fell flat in their most important game of the season as, once again, a slow start sealed their fate.
The Cougars exploited that tepid start and found the Terriers easy prey while building an early 4-0 first-period lead before coasting to a 7-2 romp at Rotary Place before less than 100 fans. Schomberg poured 17 shots on goalie Andrew Couling in the first frame and hit the back of the net four times.
In the middle frame, Marty Lawlor tallied a power-play marker to get his team on the board and then added a third-period goal as well, but it wasn't near enough in a game that saw the visitors outshoot the Terriers 44-26. Schomberg netted a power-play goal and a short-handed goal as they skated to the impressive - and important - win. With the victory, Schomberg leap-frogged over the Terriers into sixth place.
Things went from bad to worse for the short-staffed Terriers Sunday afternoon as the host Stayner Siskins continued their dominance over Orillia, building a 10-0 advantage after 40 minutes as they coasted to an easy 11-2 decision. With just 12 skaters, the Terriers were outnumbered and outgunned; Shane Carroll and Lawlor scored third-period goals in the defeat against the league's top team.
Brendan Dale took the loss between the pipes after allowing six goals on 21 shots. He was pulled early in the second period. Couling came on in relief and made 23 saves.
The Terriers are back in action Thursday when they travel to Schomberg to take on the Cougars. Orillia will next see home-ice action when they host Alliston Jan. 18 in a 7:30 p.m. contest at Rotary Place.
TERRIER TALES: Veteran defenceman Konnor Blimke missed his seventh straight game due to pneumonia. Forward Mitchell Pellarin did not play in either weekend game. Missing Sunday were Barroso, Jarrod Bourne, Ryan Jones and Ethan Harrison. The Terriers have now allowed a league-high 202 goals in their 36 games - 30 goals worse than any other team. On the flip side, they have scored just 116 goals; only Caledon (110) has scored fewer.