It was not a pretty home game, or a good outcome, for the Blenheim Blades Sunday night as the Blades got doubled up 6-3 by the Wheatley Sharks in PJHL Stobbs Division play at the Blenheim arena.
The loss, just the fourth of the season for the Blades, now sees Blenheim and Wheatley tied for second with 20 points each, two ahead of the defending champion Lakeshore Canadiens, and well behind the first-place Essex ’73s, who have lost just once in 15 starts, and have 28 points.
The Blades and Sharks will be right back at it Wednesday night in Wheatley at 7:30, with Blenheim missing their best player Tate Bowden, who will be sitting out a one-game suspension following a fight – if you could call it that – in the last 10 minutes of the third period.
Things don’t get any easier the rest of the week as Blenheim travels to Lakeshore Friday, and then hosts Essex Sunday. Both games are at 7 p.m.
The Blades fell behind early Sunday when Ethan Hamelin scored his first of four goals for the Sharks at 1:18 of the first period.
Bowden netted his first of two goals just over five minutes later with assist going to Darby Lemieux,
Hamelin scored at 16:59 and Braedon Caetano at 18:26 to put the Sharks ahead 3-1 after 20 minutes.
Wheatley made it 4-1 at 1:04 of the middle 20 minutes when Hamelin netted his second of the night.
The Blades cut the gap to 4-3 when Lemieux scored his sixth of the season just 26 seconds later, with assists going to Bowden and Justin Ewald, and Bowden netted his second of the night, and 14th of the season, at 3:39 assisted by Matt Hayter and Ewald.
However, that was as close as Blenheim could get as Hamelin netted his fourth just before the second period ended, and Evan Cote iced the win for Wheatley with a third period goal at 13:04.
Things got a little crazy in the 17th minute of the third period as the two teams totaled 14 penalties, one of which was Bowden’s fighting penalty.
BLADES BITS: It was the first Blades game for former Shark Ethan Chittle, who joined Blenheim Friday…Wheatley outshot Blenheim 41-30…Hamelin was the first star of the game, Wheatley’s Jaydon Ferguson the second with his two assists, and Bowden the third for his three-point night…Not dressed for Blenheim were defencemen Remi Steen and Beau Moison…Sunday’s ice sponsor was Clarke Drainage of Blenheim…Attendance was 424.