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The Norwich Merchants have accepted the resignation of Head Coach Brad Wilkins & his staff Justin Salt & Kevin Wilkins from our organization. The trio are stepping down due to family commitments which includes Brad about to become a father. The Merchants are sad to see these gentlemen leave and wish them nothing, but the best. Their dedication and passion towards our team this past season was a sight to see. Their work ethic rubbed off on the players throughout the season and did not go unnoticed by their peers as Brad was voted Doherty Division Coach of the Year. The Norwich Merchants thank Brad, Justin & Kevin for their efforts this past season.

With Brad’s departure, the Norwich Merchants are pleased to announce the hiring of a new head coach, who is very familiar with our organization. Dave Smith is returning behind the bench for the 2017-18 season. Dave coached the Merchants from 2006-2009 that included a Niagara Junior C Championship in 2009. Dave would return mid-way through the 2014-15 season and led the Merchants to a berth in the Mid-Western Junior C Finals before falling to Ayr. Joining Dave behind the bench is Dennis Jarrell who coached alongside Dave during his original run. The Norwich Merchants are excited to welcome Dave and Dennis back into our family for what will certainly be a memorable 50th season.

The Norwich Merchants are thrilled to announce the hiring of Aaron Wirth as an assistant coach for the upcoming season. Aaron joins Dave Smith's staff alongside Dennis Jarrell. Aaron spent 4 years as a Merchants player that included a period where he was coached by Dave himself. Aaron represented the Merchants as team captain in his final season. The Merchants are thrilled to have Aaron on board. Welcome home Wirthy.

The Norwich Merchants are pleased to announce another hiring to their coaching staff for the upcoming season. Former Merchant Sean Mcleod has joined the team as an assistant coach. Sean spent part if his playing days in the Merchants red & white that included time under head coach Dave Smith. Sean joins Dennis Jarrell & Aaron Wirth on Dave's Staff. Welcome back Sean!


On Monday Night, Norwich ventured down to New Hamburg for Game 5 hoping to clinch a spot in the second round. The Merchants ensure there would be no shutout on this road tilt as Mason Cooper wired in the opener 5:43 into the game. Jordan Gillis dangled his way to the net and slipped in the second goal of the game and Riley Monture would bury a third marker for Norwich before the game was 20 minutes old. Norwich didn’t let up in the second period as Gillis poked in his second goal of the game 16:16 into the middle frame. Troy Lamoure buried his 4th of the playoffs 1:42 later giving Norwich a comfortable 5 goal lead after 40 minutes. The Firebirds who ruin Tyler Gubesch’s shutout hopes 6:28 into the final frame, but that would be the only puck to slide past Gubesch on this night as the Merchants eliminated New Hamburg with a 5-1 victory. Monture (2), Blake Pow, Brett Parsons, Matt Caskanette and Ray Munro recorded assists for Norwich while Gubesch stopped 24 of 25 shots to earn the victory.

Norwich now await their second round opponent, which could be any of Ayr, Paris, Woostock or Wellesley. Paris and Tavistock were playing Game 7 of their series Tuesday night. Woodstock will look to keep their playoff hopes alive on Friday when they host Wellesley at 745pm. The Navy Vets trail the Apple Jacks 3-2 in the best of 7 series. Game 7 if necessary would be in Wellesley on Saturday at 730pm.

Monday February 13, 2017                                                        Picture By: Dave Jull

Merchants Put Firebirds on Brink of Elimination
By Colin Percy for the Norwich Gazette

The Norwich Merchants kicked off the playoffs with back to back wins and looked to take a commanding 3-0 lead when they traveled to New Hamburg for Game 3 of their quarterfinal series against the Firebirds on Friday night.

The Firebirds opened the scoring 12:13 into the game – the lone goal of the first period that saw back and forth action between the teams. The second period was a rough one for the Merchants. Two goals in a 19 second span made it 3-0 for the Firebirds. They quickly made it 4-0 at the 7:13 mark of the middle frame. A powerplay goal with 4:02 left gave the Firebirds a 5-0 lead. They would add a 5th goal later giving the Firebirds a 6-0 lead after 40 minutes. Norwich didn't quit in the third period, firing shots at the New Hamburg net, but the team couldn't buy a goal in the final frame. New Hamburg went scoreless in the third period as well that saw Norwich outshoot New Hamburg 16-5. Tyler Gubesch made 20 saves in the loss while Patrick Tanner made 7 saves in relief.

Norwich headed into Sunday's Game 4 with a 2-1 series lead and hoped to restore their 2 game series lead in front of the home fans. Things didn't start well for Norwich as the Firebirds popped in the opening goal 5:40 into the game. Mason Cooper would equalize for Norwich midway through the period to knot the game at aces following the first period. Ray Munro backhanded in the go-ahead goal for Norwich 10:13 into the second period. The teams battled back and forth in the third, but nobody could score until late in the frame when Troy Lamoure whistled in his third of the playoffs to give Norwich a 2 goal advantage. The Firebirds would claw one back with 2:32 remaining, but fell short losing 3-2 to Norwich as the Merchants put the Firebirds on the brink of elimination. Riley Monture, Matt Caskanette, Derek Slaght, Jesse Dunn and Brett Parsons notched assists for Norwich while Tyler Gubesch made 28 saves in the win.

Norwich traveled to New Hamburg on Monday night, however game results were not available by press time.


Kiley Joe Masson will be appearing at the Norwich Community Centre on Saturday March 15th. The concert and dance takes place from 2pm-5pm. Lunch is available as well. $15 Tickets are available from all Merchant executive members or from Ken Cornish.

Monday February 08, 2017

By Colin Percy for the Norwich Gazette
The Norwich Merchants rode into the playoffs riding high after ending the season by winning 9 of 11 games and their prize was a first round playoff date against a familiar foe the New Hamburg Firebirds. Norwich and New Hamburg have met in the playoffs six of the past seven years including last year's first round series that saw New Hamburg sweep away the Merchants in four straight games. Norwich entered this year with a chip on their shoulder and they got their first chance to exact revenge on Friday with the series opener in New Hamburg.
The Firebirds opened the scoring 1:39 into the game, but the Merchants responded quickly when Try Lamoure fired a wrist shot from the point 1:04 later. Blake Pow gave Norwich their first lead 7:23 into the second period when he dangled home a shorthanded marker. New Hamburg tied the game 2:10 later and regained their 1 goal advantage 19 seconds after that forcing Norwich to play comeback in the third period. That comeback started quickly when Lamoure wired home his second of the game 48 seconds into the third period. Matt Caskanette buried a powerplay tally with 14 minutes left to give Norwich a 1 goal lead. That was followed by goal number two for Pow on the night 4:25 seconds after that. New Hamburg would make it 5-4 with 8:27 remaining. A Late Norwich penalty gave New Hamburg a man advantage with 3 minutes left. Norwich would kill it off, however were still in penalty kill mode as the Firebirds pulled their goalie in favour of an extra attacker. A scramble in front of Norwich's net saw the puck slide to New Hamburg's Nathan Grossi who wired home an equalizer with 1.3 seconds left on the clock sending the teams to overtime. The Firebirds pressed hard in the early going, but Norwich countered with a break out from the own end the saw Jordan Gillis slide over a beautiful pass to Brett Parsons who made no mistake on the breakaway sliding in the game winner 4:31 into the extra game handing Norwich the crucial Game One victory with a 6-5 scoreline. Jon Damm, Jesse Dunn, Gillis (2), Matt Larochelle, Pow, Mason Cooper, Brandon Velda (2) and Nathan Innes notched assists for Norwich while Tyler Gubesch made 29 saves in the game that saw New Hamburg outshoot Norwich 34-30.
Norwich looked to maintain home ice advantage when they hosted Game Two of the series on Saturday night. Gillis opened the scoring roofing a wrist shot 3:13 into the game. Derek Slaght popped in his first off the playoffs with 33 seconds left in the period handing Norwich a 2-0 lead after 20 minutes. New Hamburg got on the board 13:48 into the second period, but John Foreman slipped in a goal with 1:49 remaining in the second to maintain Norwich's 2 goal lead after 40 minutes. The Firebirds cut the lead back to 3:04 into the third period. The teams would battle back and forth through the final frame trading big hits and scoring chances, but nothing would materialize until late in the period. For the second straight night, Norwich had to kill off a penalty late in the game. New Hamburg pulled their goalie in the final 2 minutes making it a 6 on 4 advantage. Slaght would slide the puck into the neutral zone from his own end onto the stick of Parsons who floated in an empty net shorthanded goal from center ice with 1:32 remaining to restore Norwich's 2 goal lead. That empty netter would prove crucial as the Firebirds poked home a goal with 30 seconds left, however Norwich held on for the 4-3 win sending the Norwich fans home happy and handing the Merchants a 2-0 series lead. Lamoure (2), Parsons, Slaght, Cooper, Larochelle and Ryan Dayman recorded assists for Norwich while Gubesch made 21 saves in the game where Norwich outshot their opponents 34-24.
Norwich will look to make it 3 in a row when they play Game 3 in New Hamburg on Friday night at 7:30pm. Game 4 will go on Sunday afternoon in Norwich at 2pm. Game 5 if necessary will be on Monday in New Hamburg at 7:30pm.
Tickets are now available for the Norwich Merchants' Spring Fish Fry. The event takes place on Saturday April 15

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