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Tigers sit atop of North Division after first two weeks

October 14, 2021   ·   0 Comments

The new-look Aurora Tigers aren’t just a bunch of new names written on the official roster sheet. They are entirely a new team.

They’re fast. They score. They hit. But ultimately, they’re looking like a well-oiled-machine after the first weeks of the 2021 campaign.

The Tigers travelled to Collingwood Friday night to take on the Blues. In a tight knit-matchup, Aurora fell 3-1.

Four minutes into the contest Ty Roberts’ power-play goal got the boys off to a fast start, but after that the Blues hunkered down and fought for a 3-1 result.

“We were expecting them to be a little more aggressive and they were, so we had things designed for that. Then they laid back after we scored the first one, we scored pretty quick on the power play. Then they weren’t as aggressive and we weren’t shooting,” head coach Greg Johnston said.

After going 1-6 on the power play in that matchup, Johnston said he is quite happy with the group’s puck movement while on the man advantage. The next night, the boys took advantage of the power play in a 5-2 drubbing of the Markham Royals.

Johnston also switched up his lines, putting Connor Van Weelie with Justin Biraben and Luc Reeve.

In an energetic matchup with a great fan attendance, the coaching staff’s adjustment paid off. After going down by one in the first period, Van Weelie rifled in a power play goal from the slot assisted by Biraben and Reeve to make it 1-1.

In the second period, on the power play again, Hollander Thompson this time snuck home a shot from the slot early.

After the Royals tied it up, it was all Aurora from there on as Ty Roberts added the third goal, Van Weelie added the fourth and Roberts added his second of the game in the third period to give the boys the win.

The Tigers showed what they could be made of both offensively and physically on the ice.

For the final game of the weekend in a tough three-game schedule, the Tigers went over to Markham and smoked the Royals 5-2 once again.

Van Weelie, Reeve, Thompson, Biraben, and William Smith all got on the score sheet.

“You’re going to have your top guys that are going to get points, and score goals. Ideally you would like a balanced scoring. Some players get a little bit more adjusted. We’re in an adjustment period, I think, for some players, to the speed and to the tempo because it is a step up,” Johnston said.

“The good thing that I see is they’re getting it. They’re playing really well. They’re buying in.”

A scary moment occurred in this game as Tigers forward Tomasz Szczerba was brought to the hospital following a bad hit on the ice. Johnston confirmed Szczerba is recovering as expected and he said he is sure the League will be taking a look into this hit moving forward.

Currently, Biraben leads the team with 11 points (4 G, 7 A) alongside captain Luc Reeve who has nine points (2 G, 7 A).

This Friday, the team hosts the Pickering Panthers and will host the Burlington Bears on Saturday. Puck drop is at 7.30 p.m. both nights.

By Robert Belardi



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