SIX NATIONS – A lackluster effort by the Ohsweken Demons, plus a less than spectacular outing by goalie Jake Henhawk, resulted in the Ohsweken Demons’ first loss of the season at the ILA Friday night.
Even with newly returning Chris Attwood and Danny Vyse in the lineup, the Demons dropped a 9-7 decision to the visiting Barrie Blizzard.
Ohsweken got out of the gate first, building a 2-0 first quarter lead with goals by Dewey Porter and Blue Hill. Captain Travis Hill added a third Demons goal early in the second, but the Blizzard blew in and buried the Ohsweken lead with four goals of their own, leading the Demons into the second half at 4-3.
Two more Barrie goals opened the third quarter before Roger Vyse scored his first of three with 25 seconds remaining in the quarter, making it a 6-4 game in favour of the visitors.
Daryl Robertson opened the final quarter for Barrie to put a 7-4 cushion under their lead.
Vyse and Josh Johnson put a bit of a spark on the Ohsweken bench. While the game was still within reach for the Demons at 9-6 with seven minutes remaining, it wasn’t to be.
Vyse completed his hat-trick with 18 seconds remaining, though it wouldn’t change the outcome, as the Blizzard’s relentless attack wore down the Demons’ defense.
Head Coach “Mouse” Henry took the blame for the loss, saying he knew something was not quite right even during warm-ups, but didn’t say anything about it at the time.
“I should have gone out there for the warm-ups,” he said after the loss. “They were just going through the motions. I told them in the dressing room that I failed them as a coach.”
One loss this early in the season is nothing to worry about, and Henry is confident that the Demons will rebound quickly.
“We’ll take a step back and get back at it Wednesday night at practice,” he said.
He encouraged his players to go online and watch the replay of the game, as he intends to do, and see for themselves what went wrong.
Henry is also confident that dressing room leaders like Travis Hill and Roger Vyse will step up and motivate their teammates to bring a lot more energy to the arena when they play again Saturday, in Paris.
“It’s such a short season, with only eight games, and we have five left,” said Henry.
He admits to possibly making a few changes before the roster deadline later this month, but he’s not panicking.
“I’ve got some tough decisions to make,” he said. “There’s a lot of good ball players, but it’s going to have to be chemistry, and whoever wants to give it all for the guy next to him and have nothing left at the end of the game.”
Saturday, Feb. 14th, the Demons will pay their first visit to the Syl Apps Arena in Paris where they will take on the surprisingly good Southwest Cyclops in an 8 p.m. start.