Three quick wins have certainly changed the landscape of the Eastern Ontario Junior Hockey League’s Valley Division.
Fighting to get out of last place two weeks ago, the Renfrew Timberwolves have caught the Arnprior Packers and are now tied for the top of the Valley Division.
Highlighted by Drew Anderson’s dramatics – two overtime game-winning goals – the Wolves won games in Ottawa West, Almonte and Clarence Creek inside of 48 hours.
The solar system lost a planet since the last time Renfrew won in Ottawa West, and the Wolves hadn’t actually been stockpiling wins in Clarence Creek either.
Wolves 6, Ottawa West 5 (OT)
The Wolves posted a huge victory Thursday night.
Drew Anderson’s unassisted shorthanded goal 1:21 into overtime lifted the Wolves to a victory in a rink they haven’t won in for years, 6-5 over the Ottawa West Golden Knights at the Barbara Ann Scott Arena.
How long has it been?
Pluto was a planet when Renfrew last won in Barbara Ann’s house.
Anderson’s goal, on a partial breakaway, was Renfrew’s second shorthanded tally of the night.
Jesse Riopelle also connected with the Wolves down a man with just two seconds left in the opening period.
Riopelle finished with two goals, as did Casey Doner.
Doner also had a key late-period tally, scoring with just seven ticks showing in the second frame.Patrick McGrath had the other Renfrew marker in the see-saw contest.
The Wolves held leads of 1-0, 4-3 and 5-3 along the way, and trailed 2-1 and 3-2.
Ottawa West killed off the game’s first and their only penalty of the night. Then the Wolves killed off six of their seven.
Matt Gagne made 44 saves in the win. The Golden Knights’ J.J. Pristanski faced 33 Renfrew shots.
“The kids are making a lot (of) things change this year. I say this because for the first time in 10 years we beat Ottawa West on the road,” coach and general manager Brent Sylvester said.
“With seven minutes to go and a two-goal lead that we eventually surrendered, our kids didn’t panic, just stuck with the game plan.
“Gagne was solid in goal, making timely big saves,” the coach added.
Wolves 5, Almonte 4 (ot)
Anderson did it again. He converted a Riopelle feed 46 seconds into overtime to complete a hat trick Saturday night in Almonte.
Riopelle and Patrick Dick had other goals for the Wolves. Riopelle and Doner also collected two assists.
Nicolas Hodgins blocked 34 shots in the win. The Wolves fired 32 the way of Thunder goalkeeper Dominic Plaschy.
The Renfrew powerplay enjoyed a good night, capitalizing on three occasions.
Garrett Nichol clicked for Almonte’s lone powerplay marker with 2:27 left in the third period to rescue the eventual overtime-loss point for the Thunder.
Wolves 7, Clarence 4
Doner had three goals and defenceman Erik Mask snapped home a pair to pace the Renfrew attack in another tough rink for Wolves teams.
Tanner Smith and Patrick Dick added singles. The Wolves overcame a 3-2 deficit with three goals in a 5:19 span in the middle stanza, and then pulled away by scoring the only two goals of the third period. Doner sealed the verdict with an empty-net tally.
Scott Conroy had three assists and Anderson two. Matt Gagne outdualed his Clarence Creek Beavers counterpart, making 27 saves to Erik Plumadore’s 29.
“This win caps off a perfect week and the kids are home for some well-deserved rest for their efforts this week”, Sylvester said.
The Wolves were in last place entering their Oct. 21 game against the Stittsville Royals.
Four wins later, they share top spot with Arnprior. Both teams have 15 points.
A shoulder injury will keep Chris Minns on the sidelines for an estimated three weeks.
A second-period scrap in Clarence Creek marked a first for Wolves rookie Sean Kyte in the junior B loop.
The Wolves have a rematch with Ottawa West at the Ma-Te-Way Activity Centre Friday (tonight) at 8 p.m. On Sunday, the Wolves travel to Stittsville for a 2:30 p.m. faceoff with the Royals.
Renfrew also hosts the Pontiac Juniors on Friday, Nov. 9 at 8 p.m., a game that does not appear on the Wolves pocket schedules.