Welland Jr. Canadians: Weekend Preview Oct. 14 – Oct. 16

The Welland Jr. Canadians enter the middle of October at a very pivotal point in the season. With only three wins so far through the first 10 games of the season, this weekend could get the Jr. Canadians right back in the hunt. Currently with a record of 3-7, the Jr. Canadians sit in sixth in the Golden Horseshoe Conference and are four points back of the Niagara Falls Canucks, who occupy the fifth spot.

Defensively, the Jr. Canadians are struggling to overcome the dreaded injury bug. Kai Skilbeck (lower body) and Brock Houser (upper body) are both not expected to skate this weekend, with the latter not likely to return to the lineup until the new year. Friday’s game against the Pelham Panthers will be the debut of Matthew Schlosser. He was signed by the Jr. Canadians a couple weeks ago but was required to serve a four-game suspension that dated back to last season. Schlosser is an offensive puck-moving defenseman, which will give a much-needed boost to the Jr. Canadian’s defensive core.

The Jr. Canadians had a very busy week with a couple of practices. Head Coach Dave Burkholder was very pleased with the level of intensity coming from the team. “We had a great week of practice to get us ready for this important weekend,” said Burkholder. “We have established a good rivalry with Pelham and expect a very spirited affair on Friday night.”

While the Jr. Canadians prepared for the weekend on the ice, the team also made a splash off the ice with another trade. Rookie netminder Andrew Welch was dealt to the Pelham Panthers, where he will join former Jr. Canadian goaltender Keegan Jackson. The latter was expected to start for the Panthers against his former team on Friday. But he’ll now sit in the stands due to a suspension that occurred in the Panther’s last game, which was a loss to the Thorold Blackhawks. With Welch being traded to the Panthers, the Jr. Canadians signed 6-foot-6 goaltender Coulter Taylor. The Oro-Medonte native spent last season between the pipes for Upper Canada College who play in the CPSHA.

By the Numbers

The Jr. Canadians are 3-7 on the year, while the Panthers sport a 1-9-0-1 record and currently sit in last in the Golden Horseshoe Conference. This is the first of six meetings between the Panthers and Jr. Canadians, with the latter looking to snap a three-game skid.

Sunday night is also the first time Welland will see the red-hot Fort Erie Meteors. Puck drop on Sunday is 7 p.m.

 

Written By: Spencer Tanguay

Photo & Edited By: Riley Radobenko