Peering through a crowd.
Renfrew Timberwolves netminder Matt Gagne covers up amidst a number of players from both sides. The Clarence Creek Beavers won Sunday night’s EOJHL encounter 5-3.
Peter Clark, Renfrew Mercury
The tight horse race in the Valley Division of the Eastern Ontario Junior Hockey League continues.
When the sun rose on this week, two weekend losses dropped the Renfrew Timberwolves from shares of second place down to fourth, and ran a current losing skid to three games.
Clarence Creek 5, Wolves 3
The Wolves were the chasers all night long Sunday at the Ma-Te-Way Activity Centre.
The Metro loop’s Clarence Creek Beavers struck for an early 2-0 lead, and added two more quick tallies for a 4-1 edge to close out the second period.
The Wolves fought back with two goals of their own in the final stanza to close the gap, before a Sabastien Dion empty netter sealed Renfrew’s fate.
Jérémie Gauthier, Pascal Brisson, Brennan Tousignant Bruno Cheff and Dion shared Clarence Creek goal production.
Colin Bradley and Casey Doner had three-point nights for the Wolves. Bradley had two goals and Doner one.
Ryan Eady moved up to wing and added two assists.
Clarence Creek netminder Ryan McLaughlin made 23 saves while Renfrew’s Matt Gagne blocked 18 drives.
The Wolves’ Adam Pearson and Clarence Creek counterpart Brett Faber received early exits following a spirited scrap seven minutes from the end of the middle period.
Kurtis Leclaire was also banished halfway through, which resulted in a nine-minute Beavers powerplay.
The Wolves came within 23 seconds of killing it off. The Clarence Creek marker actually came on a two-man advantage.
Leclaire may face a suspension for the number of fighting majors accumulated.
Perth 6, Wolves 5
The division-leading Perth Blue Wings broke up a 4-4 deadlock with two poweplay goals early in the third period, and then held off a late-game Wolves comeback bid Dec. 28 at the Perth Community Centre.
Colin Bradbury, Sean Kyte, Kurtis Leclaire, Scott Conroy and Casey Doner scored Renfrew goals. Bradbury and defenceman Ryan Eady added two assists.
Four Renfrew markers came inside of a 10-minute span to give the Wolves a 4-2 lead in the first period, but an immaculate night from Perth’s Blair Barr turned the game around.
The Blue Wings veteran had four goals plus one assist, but his second goal was a bad one for the Wolves to allow.
Barr scored shorthanded with just seven seconds left in the opening stanza to cut the Wolves advantage to 4-3.
Coming off injury, Matt Gagne made his first start in goal in over a month for the Wolves.
Jeremy Wright earned the goaltending win for Perth.
The Wolves continue to take penalties at bad times, and in bunches. They took six in a row in Perth, including five to start the third period.
There was a decent-sized crowd for Minor Hockey Night Sunday, sponsored by the Renfrew Millionaires.
The Wolves open 2013 with a trip to Almonte Saturday. Game time is 7:30 p.m.
The first home game is Sunday evening Jan. 6.
The Valley Division-leading Perth Blue Wings supply the opposition at 7:30 p.m.