Timberwolves split two games under interim coach

The Valley Timberwolves had new personnel behind the bench last week after head coach/general manger Gord Goldberg, left, and assistant coach, Keith Roach, resigned early last week.

Eganville – The Valley Timberwolves collected two of a possible four points last week, winning their first game under an interim coach in Brockville last Wednesday, and then being shut-out Saturday night by the Whitewater Kings in Cobden.

The Timberwolves had different personnel behind the bench in Brockville on Wednesday night, after former head coach/general manager Gord Goldberg and assistant coach Keith Roach, both resigned from their positions with the club a day earlier.

On Saturday, the Timberwolves were shut-out for the third time in their last five games, in a 6-0 win by the Kings in Cobden.

Ryan Hawthorne had a big game for the host Kings, scoring twice and adding two assists to lead his team to the win. Reid Greer staked the Kings to a 1-0 lead 1:22 into the contest, with Hawthorne stretching the lead to two goals midway through the period. Whitewater added a third goal in the second period, with Aidan Hawthorne finding the twine and Ryan Hawthorne drawing the helper.

The Kings added three more tallies in the third, with Thomas Jones making the score 4-0 just 1:11 into the final period. Greer scored his second of the game at the 12:44 mark with Hawthorne earning his second assist. Hawthorne scored his second of the night with 6:27 to play, giving him four points in the game and making the final 6-0.

Cade Corbin rejected all 16 shots that came his way while Tyson Johnston stopped 33 of the 39 shots he faced.

The Timberwolves had seven of the 13 penalties assessed in the contest.   

In the win on Wednesday, Liam Serviss staked the Timberwolves to the win with the only goal of the first period. Brockville scored twice in the second on markers by Colton Lux and Sam Fisher. Matthieu Gaudrault evened the score midway through the third to force overtime.

After a scoreless OT, the game was decided in a shoot-out with the Timberwolves outscoring the Tikkis 3-2 in the shoot-out. Gaudrault, Serviss and John Stewart found the twine in the shoot-out for the win, while Cole Dal Bello and Ethan Wooler were successful in beating James Cole in the Timberwolves’ net.

Cole stopped 31 of 33 while Phillip Rondina stopped 29 of the 31 shots he faced. 

The Timberwolves were assessed eight of the 15 penalties, including one in the overtime period which they successfully killed to force the shoot-out.

The team was scheduled to host the Tikkis in Eganville on Sunday night but the game was postponed apparently due to a COVID outbreak among players on both teams.

This week, the Timberwolves are scheduled for four consecutive nights, from Friday through Monday. On Friday night, they are in Arnprior to meet the Packers, followed by a return to Cobden for a rematch with the Kings on Saturday night. The team hosts the Packers on Sunday at 6 p.m. before hitting the road again on Monday in a game against the second-place Perth Blue Wings.   

Was Not Fired

On Sunday, former head coach Goldberg told the Leader he had resigned during a conversation with team ownership last Tuesday. 

“I approached them, things weren’t going good,” he explained. “It is what it is.”

Goldberg emphasized he resigned from the position and was not fired, noting Roach packed it in as well.

“I’d like to credit all the boys on the team. There’s nothing on the boys,” he stated.

Team owner Ryan Leonard, who also owns the Renfrew Wolves franchise in the Central Canada Hockey League (CCHL), confirmed in an email Monday the previous coaching staff had stepped down.

“Our coaching staff resigned on the program last Monday stating it’s time for new voices to move forward and hopefully get more out of the kids,” he stated. “We think they did the best they could with the challenges they have trying to run a team in Eganville.”

Mr. Leonard said new personnel have been hired but they are still awaiting approval from Hockey Canada, so he cannot identify them until they are approved.

“We won’t have answers if the staff is approved until this Thursday,” he said.

Mr. Leonard said he would like to see the Eganville community rally to support the team in their last few weeks of the regular season.

“It’s been trying times for the program all around with 9:30 practices and players not being able to make full commitments. We now have earlier practices as a minor team has finished the season, which will give us time to get things going.

“We have 21 players left here who want to finish the season strong with new staff and now we need this community to try to come and support us as we usually only see parents and friends at the Jr. games,” he added.