Grand olé game marred

Rich Fyle column

From the drawers of the Top Secret Fyles:

The Watertown Wolves’ season in the Federal Prospects Hockey League can be described to date as a zany roller coaster ride punctuated by defining highs of highs and lows of lows.

Just shy of the regular season’s midpoint, Watertown is 14-10 overall (that includes two overtime losses) for 44 points and in second place in the Eastern Division, eight points behind leader Danbury.

It is fascinating how the Wolves have achieved their record, experiencing the ups and downs.

After losing its season opener at home to Mentor, Watertown strung together eight straight wins (including the last five on the road) from Oct. 26 to Nov. 17.

Following a loss to Danville, Watertown managed a modest three-game win string before the bottom temporarily fell out. A disastrous seven-game losing streak (including one overtime setback) followed from Dec. 6-27 that dropped the Wolves out of first place.

However, from there no reason to panic because the Wolves rallied with three successive wins before last Saturday’s 5-4 loss to the Columbus (Ga.) River Dragons.

The 14 victories are comprised of an eight-game streak and a pair of three-game strings. The 10 defeats are from that horrid stretch and three separate setbacks.

The team stats reveal that the Wolves should actually have a better record than 14-10: a plus-28 goal differential, outscoring foes by an average of 4.4-to-3.3 per game, and the 10-team league’s second-best power play behind Port Huron at 25.8 percent. The Wolves’ penalty killing is average at 81.9 percent but ranks only seventh-best in the league.

Offense is not Watertown’s problem. Veteran forward/assistant coach Tyler Gjurich is the league’s top scorer with 48 points and best power-play specialist with 11 goals. His 21 goals lead the Wolves. Deric Boudreau has enjoyed a steady season with 16 goals, 23 assists for 39 points, and has a league-leading five game-winning goals. Veteran defenseman Kyle Powell, who directs the power play, leads the FPHL with 30 assists, and has 39 points. Jamie Lukas’ four shorthanded goals lead the circuit.

The Wolves’ roller coaster ride follows a similar pattern from 2018-19, when the team lost 11 consecutive games from Jan. 5 to Feb. 9 and later won seven straight from March 22 to April 4.

n Richie Rich’s Top 10 rankings in College Basketball: 1. Gonzaga; 2. Duke; 3. Kansas; 4. Oregon; 5. Ohio St.; 6. Baylor; 7. Auburn; 8. Butler; 9. Louisville; 10. Memphis.

Times sports copy editor Richard Fyle can be reached at rfyle@wdt.net

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.