Jooris honoured, and Stafford turns pro
By Larry Robertson; Photos by Richard Zazulak
DUNDAS—There were many hills and valleys to be traversed by the Dundas Real McCoys over the weekend including the honouring of Mark Jooris, Scott Stafford turning pro, and two back-to-back losses in Allan Cup Hockey.
"As in life, you take the good with the bad; the Mark Jooris Night was a lot of fun as it should have been. The bad was that we lost twice. We should have won on Friday, but we were smoked on Saturday when some of players let us down by not going to Whitby,” said President and General Manager Don Robertson. “That's issue we have to fix sooner rather than later if we are going to find success. We still have four player cards that we are going to fill."
One of those cards became available after last Friday night’s game, when fourth-year forward Scott Stafford officially informed the club that he was turning pro with Germany’s Wedemark Scorpions. He will play in the club’s three remaining regular season games, the playoffs, and in the relegation round playoff.
"As an organization we hate to see Scott leave the Real McCoys. He has worn the "A" well for us this season. He is a wonderful young man, and we wish him nothing, but the best in Germany. He is the first McCoy to turn pro in recent memory. We wish him well, and we are proud he played for us as a Real McCoy,” said Robertson. Stafford joined the McCoys after graduating from the Thorold Blackhawks of the Golden Horseshoe Junior B Hockey League.
“I appreciate the support and understanding of the Real McCoys about my opportunity. I loved playing for Don Robertson, and the McCoys. I will be at some playoff games cheering the boys on when I get home,” said Stafford. “Thanks again Dundas for everything! My experiences and development with the Real McCoys over the past four seasons has provided me with the opportunity at this level of hockey.”
Last Friday, was also Mark Jooris Night and “Pink in the Rink” Night for Breast Cancer Research with a portion of the gate receipts donated in support of the CIBC Breast Assessment Centre at Juravinski Hospital and Cancer Centre. Unfortunately, for the fans, the McCoys were edged 3-2 in overtime by the Stoney Creek Generals in the JL Grightmire Arena.
Mike Mole played his best Allan Cup Tournament style of goaltending, but it was not enough to save Dundas. On the night set aside to honour the McCoys alltime leading scorer, Mark Jooris, it was unfortunate that he was sitting in the crowd and not playing on the ice. Could Jooris’s 2.34 point per game average have made a difference, who knows?
The night was a success for “Pink in the Rink” Night for Breast Cancer Research with a portion of the gate receipts donated in support of the CIBC Breast Assessment Centre at Juravinski Hospital and Cancer Centre.
Last Saturday night at Whitby was a downer for the club as they fell 11-2 to the Whitby Dunlops in the Iroquois Community Centre. Whitby returns to Dundas this Friday (February 6) to play a re-match with the Real McCoys at 7:30 p.m. in the Grightmire Arena.
The previous night, Dundas jumped into the early lead as Brett Smith and Brad Bonello scored four minutes apart early in the first period. The Generals pulled within a goal when Kyle Zettler connected later in the period, but did not threaten. It was not until Mike Ruberto tied the score from a goalmouth scramble with his brother Marcus assisting that the Creek came to life.
In overtime, the action was end-to-end until Matt Smith flipped the puck over Mole after the latter had blanked a scoring attempt by Dominic Crnogorac. Brett Smith had a goal and an assist for Dundas, while Chris McGuffin assisted on both of the McCoys scoring plays.
At Whitby, the Dunlops took a 5-0 lead before Dundas was able to find that back of the net. Beni Berisha on a powerplay and captain Cam Watson scored for the McCoys. Berisha assisted on Watson’s goal. Peter MacKellar, Matt Gray, and Connor Shingler scored twice each for the Dunlops.