NEWS ARTICLES - NORWICH MERCHANTS ANNIVERSARY YEAR

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This Drawing Was Done By Deanna Brown
It Is Available As A Free Download From Her Website
https://www.deannabrownart.com/product-page/broncos-memorial-drawing

 
 

The Norwich Merchants would like express their sincere condolences to the Humboldt Broncos of the SJHL in Saskatchewan after the tragic news of a bus accident Friday April 6, 2018 while the Broncos were on their way to play a game. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families, friends and Broncos organization.

 
 
 
 

The Norwich Jr. "C" Merchants Wish To Extend Our Deepest Sympathies And Sorrow To The Families And Friends  Who Have Been Touched By The Horrific Accident Which Took So Many Of The Humbolt Broncos ...
Your Extended Hockey Family Across Canada And The World Send Our Love, And Prayers To You In This Time Of Deep Sorrow

 

Merchants Season Ends in Heart-Breaking Fashion
By Colin Percy for the Norwich Gazette


The Battle of 59 playoff series between the Norwich Merchants and Woodstock Navy Vets has been exactly that – a battle. This after the teams split games 1 and 2 to make it a best of 5 series. One team was looking to take command with a trio of games this past week.

On Tuesday Feb 6th, Norwich traveled to Woodstock for Game 3 of the series. It was a rough first period for the visitors as Woodstock took the lead 8:55 into the game. They doubled that lead 4:05 later with a powerplay goal. Norwich got into penalty trouble in the second period, in fact the team had the game's first 5 minor penalties including 1:32 five on three immediately followed by another minor penalty. It was however the Merchants who capitalized while shorthanded when Jeremy Bomberry broke through on a breakaway to cut the lead to one 10:26 into the middle period. Riley Monture tied things up 2:11 later, but the Vets restored the lead 4:43 after that. Matt Caskanette equalized when he wristed home a point shot 4:48 into the third period. The teams would trade chances, but for the second time in the series, overtime was required to determine a victor and for the second time in the series, the Merchants felt heartbreak when Woodstock slipped home the game winner 8:21 into overtime. Seth Lamoure, Caskanette, Bomberry, Blake Pow and Simon Storoschuk each had an assist in the game while Tyler Gubesch stopped 43 of the 47 shots in the game. Norwich peppered 27 shots on the Woodstock goal.

Norwich looked to tie the series up in front of over 500 fans on a snowy Friday night, but once again Norwich was forced to play comeback. Woodstock scored 6:29 into the game and doubled that lead 2:07 later. Oliver Wieringa would claw one back for Norwich with 4:57 left in the frame, but the Vets answered back in the final minute to take a 3-1 lead to the dressing room after 20 minutes. Things got worst for Norwich in the second period when the Vets made it 4-1 courtesy of a powerplay marker 7:33 into the second. Storoschuk answered back with 7:20 remaining, but the Vets buried twice more in the second period to lead by 4 goals after 40 minutes. Norwich didn't quit however and put forth a valiant effort in the third period. Pow scored 4 minutes into the third period to cut the deficit to 3. Pow scored again with 7:20 left on the clock to give Norwich some hope. The hope intensified 1:36 later when Ryan Dayman batted home his first of the playoffs. Norwich continued to press the Woodstock goal in the final 5 minutes, desperately needing a whistle to set-up a play, but unfortunately the next whistle came courtesy of a Woodstock empty net goal with 48 seconds left that sealed the victory and put the Merchants on the brink of elimination. Dan Gallagher (2), Caskanette, Troy Lamoure, Storoschuk, Harlen VanWynsberghe and John Foreman notched assists for Norwich while Tyler Gubesch made 20 saves in the loss. Brandon McIntosh stopped all 12 shots he faced in relief. Norwich had 30 shots on the Woodstock net.

The Merchants looked to stay alive in Game 5 Saturday night when they returned to Woodstock. Norwich outplayed Woodstock in the first period outshooting them 8-4. The first goal of the game came in the second period when Seth Lamoure buried one 6:59 into the frame. Norwich would hold that lead until the 3rd period when the Vets scored 8:22 into the period. Woodstock would take the lead 2:27 later when they buried a shorthanded marker. All looked lost for Norwich, but in the final minute, with the goaltender pulled, Gallagher slipped home an equalizer to send the game to overtime. Hearts were racing in the first overtime, with teams trading chances, almost ending the game at multiple times, but this game would need a second overtime. 3:39 into the 5th period, the Vets found the game winner breaking the hearts of the Merchants who saw their season come to an end. Sam Davies, Monture, Wieringa and Pow had assists for Norwich while Gubesch 38 saves in the loss. Norwich had 35 shots on the Woodstock net.

The Norwich Merchants wish to thank all their volunteers, sponsors and fans for their support in the 50th season. A fan appreciation skate and meal will be announced in the coming days.

OVERTIME

Tickets are now available for the Merchants Spring Fish Fry being held on the arena floor of the Norwich Community Centre. The event features an all you can eat perch & pickerel dinner followed by a dance with DJ Brian Grosvold. There will also be a silent auction of the event and a live auction featuring the third sweaters worn this season. Tickets are only $30/person and are available from all Merchant executive members or by calling 519-532-6074.

Merchants Begin Playoff Quest
By Colin Percy for the Norwich Gazette


The Norwich Merchants kicked off the Playoffs against the bitter rival Woodstock Navy Vets this past weekend and heartbreak struck in Game 1 on Friday night in Woodstock.

A tight first period battle saw the teams go scoreless in a penalty free opening frame where it was the goaltenders who shone brightest with the Navy Vets outshooting the Merchants 15-8. The game didn't go scoreless in the second period. Hardworking pressure by the Merchants 4th line resulted in the game's opening goal courtesy of Earl Schwartz 3:28 into the second period. Woodstock answered back with a shot from the point that went through traffic and behind Merchants netminder Tyler Gubesch 44 seconds after the Norwich tally. Blake Pow would capitalize on a Woodstock error the saw goaltender Keaghan Brett skate from his net to retrieve the puck on to lose it and see it fall on to the blade of Pow who whisked it into the empty net. Norwich cracked down on defense for the remainder of the period that saw Woodstock generate 28 shots on net compared to Norwich's 10. Norwich continued to focus on defense in the third period and nearly put the game to bed when Riley Monture couldn't beat Brett with no defenders between them. With the goalie pulled, Woodstock broke Norwich's hearts as they scrambled their win to an equalizer with 53 seconds left. They Navy Vets would clinch the victory 1:55 into overtime and steal Game one from underneath Norwich. John Foreman and Troy Lamoure had the assists for Norwich while Gubesch was stellar stopping 55 of 57 shots made. Norwich peppered the Woodstock goal with 30 shots.

Game 2 returned to Norwich on Saturday night in front of a raucous home crowd. The crowd was silenced early when Woodstock capitalized on an early Merchant penalty 3:40 into the game. Woodstock would hold that lead after 20 minutes, but the Merchants came out in the second period guns-a-blazing as they tied the game up 18 seconds into the middle period courtesy of Pow. Norwich would take the lead 5:52 when Harlen VanWynsberghe sniped a shot from the point the slipped past Woodstock goalie Keaghan Brett. Norwich would add a third goal with 3:20 left in fluky fashion. Pow dumped the puck in from outside the blueline that took a funny bounce of the back of Brett and behind the red line. Norwich locked things down in the third period killing off back to back penalties and not allowing the Vets to pull off another comeback as Norwich held on for the 3-1 win to even the series at a game apiece. VanyWynsberghe, Lamoure, Simon Storoschuk and Dan Gallagher had assists for Norwich while Gubesch stopped 27 of 28 shots faced to earn the victory. Norwich outshot Woodstock 38-28 in the contest.

Game 3 returned to Woodstock on Tuesday night, but results were not available at press time. Game 4 returns to Norwich on Friday night at 8pm with Game 5 back in Woodstock on Saturday at 745pm. Game 6 if required would be in Norwich on Valentine's Day at 730pm.

Game 3 returns to Woodstock on Tuesday night with puck drop slated for 745pm. Game 4 returns to Norwich on Friday night at 8pm with Game 5 back in Woodstock on Saturday at 745pm. Game 6 if required would be in Norwich on Valentine's Day at 730pm.


OVERTIME

Tickets are available for the Merchants Spring Fish Fry on Saturday April 21st. The event will be held on the arena floor just as it was many years ago. The event features an all you can eat perch & pickerel dinner with all the fixings followed by a dance with DJ Brian Grosvold. The team's 3rd sweaters will also be auctioned off at the event. Tickets are only $30/person and are available from all Merchant executive members or by calling or texting 519-532-6704.

Congratulations to Merchant Forward Simon Storoschuk!
PJHL DOHERTY DIVISION ROOKIE OF THE YEAR

This Award Is Voted On By The Entire PJHL Doherty Division And
Selected by The Other Teams

18 GOALS     22 ASSISTS    40 POINTS
THIRD IN NORWICH MERCHANTS TEAM POINTS

Congratulations Simon . Keep up the great work
!


Battle of 59 Set for Playoffs
By Colin Percy for the Norwich Merchants


The Norwich Merchants concluded the regular season this weekend and now turn their attention to the playoffs where they'll take on their bitter rival Woodstock Navy Vets in the PJHL Doherty Division Quarter-Finals. To solidify 6th place in the standings, Norwich had to take care of the Burford Bulldogs on Friday night at the Nor-Del Arena.

You can't get more balanced scoring than what took place on Friday night, with every Merchants player with the exception of the goaltenders registering a point. Oliver Wieringa opened the scoring 3:22 into the first period and that was followed by a Blake Pow goal 2:07 after that. Pow's goal extended his point streak to 17 games – a division high for the season. Seth Lamoure buried his 6th goal of the season 57 seconds after the Pow goal. Earl Schwartz scored his first as a Merchant with 9:19 left. The Bulldogs got on the board 25 seconds later, but Seth Lamoure buried his second of the game 2:06 later. Burford answered back again 1:29 later, but Ryan Dayman whistled in a goal 11 seconds later. Seth Lamoure completed a first period hat trick with 2:21 left. Burford buried a third goal with 12 seconds left to conclude a wild 10 goal first period that saw Norwich lead 7-3. John Foreman kickstarted the goal scoring for Norwich 1:53 into the middle frame. It was 8 minutes before another goal was scored, but unfortunately for Norwich it was off the stick of a Bulldogs players. Foreman buried his second of the game with 8:34 left. Brandon Velda and Dan Gallagher would join the goal scoring party thanks to a pair of markers in a 17 second span to close out the second period with Norwich ahead 11-4. Brett Parsons scored his first goal of the season mid-way through the third period. Foreman would complete his hat trick with 4:50 left in the game, but that wasn't enough for the Sheffield, Ontario native as he slipped home his 4th goal of the game with 1:49 left. Gallagher would wrap up the scoring with his 29th goal of the season in the final minute as the Merchants routed the Bulldogs 15-4 to clinch their spot in the standings. Riley Monture (4), Matt Caskanette, Harlen Vanwynsberghe (2), Alex Sutherland (4), Foreman, Wieringa, Troy Lamoure (4), Jeremy Bomberry, Matt Larochelle, Pow, Simon Storoschuk and Sam Davies had the assists for Norwich, while Tyler Gubesch made 9 saves to earn his 12th win of the season. Brandon McIntosh made 11 saves in relief.

Norwich concluded the season on Sunday afternoon with a matinee in New Hamburg. Foreman continued his hot play by burying the opener late in the first period. New Hamburg equalized early in the second period. The timid game was decided in the third period courtesy of the Firebirds when the scored their second goal of the game 4:56 into the period. Wieringa had the lone assist for Norwich while Guebesch made 39 saves in the loss.


Norwich wrapped up the season with a 17-18-3-2 record good enough for 6th place in the Doherty Division standings. They'll be taking on their Oxford County rival Woodstock Navy Vets in the Quarter-Finals starting on Friday night at 745pm in Woodstock. This is the first time the teams will meet in the playoffs since the 2010/11 season which saw Norwich sweep the Vets in 4 games. In fact Norwich have won the last 6 playoff series against Woodstock last losing in the 1998/99 season. This Navy Vets team has a different aura around them. The Vets won the season series 4-1, but all 5 games were tight. Four of them were 1 goal games, with the other contest being a 2 goal game, however with an empty net goal. The Vets outscored Norwich 18-14 in the games. Norwich had solid special teams stats in the 5 games going 7 for 31 on the powerplay, something they'll have to continue doing against the Vets when the opportunity arises. The penalty kill was solid at 89% in the games, with Norwich only conceding 3 goals on 28 penalties. With Woodstock's speed, the Merchants will need to stay disciplined. They'll also have to find a way to limit Woodstock leading scorer Kyle Walker. The Vets forward scored 7 goals and added 2 assists in the 5 games. Justin Elms and Jack Dorey each had 5 points for Woodstock while on the Norwich end of things, Blake Pow lead the way for Norwich with 4 goals and 2 assists. Dan Gallagher had 5 points in only 2 games played for Norwich against the Vets. He also added 3 assists from his time with the Paris Mounties in 3 games against the Vets. Simon Storoschuk too had 5 points for Norwich. In Goal Woodstock will likely rely on Keaghan Brett in goal. Brett went 4-1 against Norwich with a .924 save percentage. Back-Up Mike Harrison saw limited action for the Vets stopping 14/18 shots for a .777 save percentage. For Norwich Tyler Gubesch will likely see the bulk of action. Gubesch went 1-3 in 4 games played with an .898 save percentage. Back-up Brandon Mcintosh played 1 game against Woodstock recording 1 loss with a .881 save percentage.

For Norwich to knock off Woodstock, they'll have to win a game on the Olympic size ice surface that suits the speed of the Navy Vets. Woodstock won 16 of 20 games played on their home ice. Norwich will then have to take advantage of the smaller ice surface at the Nor-Del Arena which the team hopes will be packed with loud fans cheering for the Merchants. Game one goes Friday night in Woodstock at 745pm with Game 2 returning to Norwich on Saturday night at 730pm. Game 3 returns to Woodstock on Tuesday Feb. 6th at 745pm. Game 4 will be on Friday Feb 9th at 8pm in Norwich. Game 5 if necessary will be on Saturday Feb 10th in Woodstock at 745pm. Game 6 if required is in Norwich on Wed Feb 14th at 730pm with a potential series deciding Game 7 in Woodstock on Friday Feb 16th at 745pm.


OVERTIME

Kiley Joe Masson will be returning to Norwich on St. Patrick's Day March 17th at the Norwich Community Centre from 2pm-5pm. The musician specializes in 50/60s music along with classic country. There will be a bar and food available for purchase at the event. Tickets are only $15 per person and available from all Merchant executive members or by calling or texting 519-532-6704.

Merchants Take 4 of 6 Points
By Colin Percy for the Norwich Gazette


The 20-17-18 PJHL Doherty Division regular season entered the homestretch that saw teams try and lock down positions in the standings including the Norwich Merchants hoping to hold onto 6th place. After this past weekend's slate of games, only one week remains in the season.

Norwich's weekend started with a tough test against the first Place Ayr Centennials on Thursday night. The Merchants caught the Cens off guard when Blake Pow deflected in his 30th goal of the season 56 seconds into the game. That goal also extended Pow's point streak to 14 games. Norwich played most of the remaining first period in the defensive zone, but Ayr's pressure finally broke through when they equalized with 2:58 left in the period. Ayr took the lead 54 seconds into the second period and made it a two goal lead 2:40 seconds later. Norwich answered back in a flash however when Simon Storoschuk finished off a beautiful passing play by the Merchants ten seconds after the Ayr goal. The teams traded chances throughout the second, but both Tyler Gubesch for Norwich and Ryan Baux for Ayr stood strong in goal. The goaltenders impressive play continued in the third period, but the Merchants pressure eventually paid off when Storoschuk wired home his second of the game with 9:03 remaining in the third period. The teams traded powerplay chances in the final 9 minutes, but the penalty killers did their job as the game required overtime. The last time Norwich and Ayr played on Dec 29th, the Cens won in overtime. The Merchants were looking to repay the favour on the road in a fast paced extra frame. Norwich rung one of the post in the 3 on 3 action and a late Ayr penalty game Norwich a man advantage, but no team could muster up a game winner as the teams ended the game in a 3-3 tie. Dan Gallagher lead the way with assists on all three Norwich goals. Pow added two himself while Matt Caskanette added one of his own. Gubesch made 43 saves to earn first start honours for the game that saw Ayr outshoot Norwich 46-37.

Norwich returned home Friday night for a date with the Wellesley Apple Jacks. Jeremy Bomberry opened the scoring with 3:38 left in the first period. Wellesley tied the game 1:05 into the second period. Caskanette restored Norwich's lead courtesy of his 5th goal of the season 3:09 later. The Apple Jacks tied things 22 seconds later, but the game didn't remain deadlocked long as Wellesley scored a mere 23 seconds later. Storoschuk buried his 18th goal of the season 1:34 later and Norwich took the lead with a 1:53 thanks to John Foreman's 7th goal of the season. Wellesley tied the game up once again 6:49 into the third period, but Norwich took the lead late when Oliver Wieringa sniped home his second goal of the season with 2:04 remaining. Norwich looked to hold on, but with the goaltender pulled, Wellesley put immense pressure on the Merchants scoring with only 13 seconds left to send the game to overtime. Norwich started the extra frame with a powerplay, but a miscue sent Wellesley forward Zach Ribiero on a breakaway and he made no mistake scoring 1:35 into the extra frame to clinch the victory. Norwich did pick up a point due to the overtime loss. Brandon Velda, Sam Davies, Matt Larochelle, Riley Monture, Wieringa, Pow (2), Bomberry and Gallagher had assists for Norwich while Gubesch made 30 saves in the game that saw Norwich outshoot Wellesley 42-36.

Norwich closed out the weekend on Sunday afternoon against the New Hamburg Firebirds. It was also Norwich's final Alumni day of the season where the 2008-09 to the present day team were honoured in the first intermission. A win would almost guarantee the Merchants would finish in 6th place, but it was the Firebirds who put a damper on that dream to start when they scored 5:39 into the game. Wieringa blasted home his third of the season 2:57 later and Pow extended his point streak to a division tying high of 16 games when he finished off a beautiful stick handling play 2:09 after the Wieringa goal. New Hamburg would bury one late to send the teams to the dressing room knotted at deuces. Norwich took the lead courtesy of Pow's second of the game that saw him roof a shot from the hash marks 3:01 into the middle frame. That goal turned out to be enough for Norwich as the goaltenders locked down for the remainder of the game as Norwich held on for the 3-2 victory to move 5 points clear of the Firebirds in the standings. Velda, Monture, Storoschuk (2) and Gallagher (2) had the assists for Norwich while Gubesch stopped 32 of 34 shots faced to earn his 11th win of the season.

Norwich will close out the regular season with a pair of games. On Friday the host the Burford Bulldogs at 8pm. Norwich Minor Hockey youngsters will also be on hand for a mini game during the first intermission and during the second intermission, the team will be holding its annual Volunteer Appreciation ceremony. Following the game, there will be karaoke in the blueline club where everyone is encouraged to participate and belt out their favourite tunes. The Merchants close out the regular season on Sunday afternoon when they visit the New Hamburg Firebirds at 2pm.

OVERTIME

Kiley Joe Masson will be returning to Norwich on St. Patrick's Day March 17th at the Norwich Community Centre from2pm-5pm. The musician specializes in 50/60s music along with classic country. There will be a bar and food available for purchase at the event. Tickets are only $15 per person and available from all Merchant executive members or by calling or texting 519-532-6704.


Merchants Fall to Vets; Beat Firebirds
By Colin Percy for the Norwich Gazette

The Norwich Merchants closed out 2017 taking three out of a possible six points in the final games and looked to start off 2018 on the right track with a pair of road games.

On Tuesday, the final Battle of 59 took place between the Merchants and Woodstock Navy Vets in the friendly city. 2018 didn't start well for Norwich as the Vets poked home a goal a mere 33 seconds into the contest. Dan Gallagher tied the game with a 1:20 to go with a powerplay marker. Jeremy Bomberry stunned the Vets 18 seconds later when he buried a break-away goal. Matt Caskanette wired home his 4th goal of the season 5:22 into the second period before the Vets clawed one back 2:08 later and knotted the game up at three with a:40 left in the second period. Gallagher would answer back 41 seconds later however to give Norwch a 1 goal lead after 40 minutes. Norwich's first penalty of the game proved costly in the third period when the Vets scored at the 7:54 mark. The game remained tied until Woodstock batted a puck out of mid-air with 4:58 left to lead 5-4. Norwich continued to press for an equalizer, but couldn't muster one up falling 5-4 to their country rivals. Harlen Vanwynsberghe, Ryan Dayman, Matt Larochelle, Blake Pow and Simon Storoschuk had assists for the Merchants while Brandon McIntosh made 36 saves in the loss.

On Friday night, the team visited the New Hamburg Firebirds in a key match-up. Heading into the game, Norwich sat only 2 points above New Hamburg in the standings making this match-up important. For the second game in a row, Norwich found themselves playing comeback when the Firebirds opened the scoring 10:58 into the game. Pow would equalize 1:01 later thanks to his team leading 28th goal of the season. Galllagher gave Norwich the lead with 4 minutes left. Riley Monture whistled home a shorthanded goal 5:15 into the second period and the Merchants weren't done there. Vanwynsberghe and Dayman scored goals in a 52 second span to give Norwich a commanding 5-1 lead after 40 minutes. Troy Lamoure would score his 3rd of the season late in the third period as Norwich won convincingly 6-1 to move 4 points ahead of the Firebirds in the standings. A 2-0 win by New Hamburg over Delhi on Sunday afternoon restored Norwich's lead to 2 points. Gallagher (3), Pow (2), Damon Lemmon, Vanywynsberghe (2) and Lamoure had the assists for Norwich while Tyler Gubesch was impressive stopping 32 of 33 shots faced.

On Saturday, Norwich hosted the PJHL Doherty Division All-Star and Prospects Games. The All-Stars hit the ice first featuring Troy Lamoure, Riley Monture, Simon Storoschuk and Blake Pow. Storoschuk, Pow and Monture each registered an assist in their team's 8-5 win. The Prospects hit the ice in the evening featuring Brandon Odorjan, Seth Lamoure, Sam Davies, Alex Sutherland and goaltender Brandon McIntosh. Odorjan lead the way for his team with 2 goals while Davies added one assist. McIntosh stopped 17 of 19 shots in his team's 7-6 win as he picked up the victory. The Merchants organization wish to thank the many sponsors of the days events along with Doherty Division convenor Wayne Smith, division statistician Jim Taylor and their rivals teams from the division.

Norwich return to league action on Friday night in another key match-up against the New Hamburg Firebirds. Norwich lead the Firebirds by 2 points in the standings. Puck drop is set for 8pm at the Nor-Del Arena. On Saturday, Norwich visit the Burford Bulldogs for a 730pm game.


OVERTIME

Tickets are now available for the Merchant's Spring Fish Fry expected to be held on the arena floor. The event features an all you can eat perch & pickerel dinner followed by a dance with DJ Brian Grosvold. The event will also see a live auction featuring the team's third jerseys worn on alumni nights this past season. A silent auction is also expected to take place. Tickets are available from all Merchant executive members or by calling/texting 519-532-6704.  

Merchants Split Pair of Home Games
By Colin Percy for the Norwich Gazette


The Norwich Merchants played a pair of games on home ice this weekend including Friday night when they hosted the Wellesley Apple Jacks on Champions Night, where the organization honoured the 1969/70 & 1985/86 Ontario Champion teams as part of their 50th season celebrations.

Things did not start well for Norwich as the Apple Jacks scored three times in the first period that saw a large number of shots on both sides with Wellesley outshooting Norwich 17-16. Norwich struggled to get anything going in the second period either as the Jacks scored twice more in the second period. The assault continued in the third with Wellesley burying 3 more goals including once on the powerplay as the Merchants dropped their third straight game, this time 8-0. Tyler Gubesch made 24 saves in the loss while Brandon McIntosh stopped 10 of 11 shots faced in relief.

Saturday night would be a different story for Norwich when they hosted the winless Delhi Travellers. Blake Pow ensured the team wouldn't be shutout for a second straight night when he poked home his 19th goal of the season 4:11 into the game. Riley Monture wired a shot in from the hash marks 3:23 later before Delhi got on the scoreboard mid-way through the first. Pow buried his second of the game early in the first period and completed the hat trick at the 7:28 mark. Harlen VanWynsberghe notched his 4th goal of the season as Norwich led 5-1 after 40 minutes. Things calmed down in the 3rd period with no goals tallied as the Merchants held on for the win while sending Delhi to a 22nd consecutive loss to start the season. Simon Storoschuk, Seth Lamoure, Ryan Dayman (2), VanWynsberghe, Matt Larochelle and Peter Cappucci notched assists for Norwich while Gubesch made 20 saves to earn his 7th win of the season.

Norwich now begin a busy stretch with 3 games in 4 nights. On Thursday they visit the Ayr Centennials at 7:30pm before returning home on Friday night when they host the Woodstock Navy Vets at 8pm. That night will also feature the team's annual teddy bear/winter clothing toss where fans are encouraged to bring stuffed animals and articles of winter clothing to be tossed on the ice after the Merchants first goal. These items will then be donated to local charities to help those less fortunate this holiday season. The team wraps up the weekend on Sunday afternoon when they look for redemption against Wellesley as they visit the Jacks at 2pm.

The team will also be busy on Saturday as they participate in the Norwich Santa Claus parade beginning at 11am. All your favourite Merchant players will be on hand to spread some holiday cheer.


OVERTIME

The Norwich Merchants will be hosting the PJHL Doherty Division All-Star & Prospects games on Saturday January 6th, 2018. The All-Star game starts at 4:30pm with the prospects going at 7:30pm. Tickets are only $10/person. The Merchants are also accepting sponsorships for the event for $250. Anyone interested is asked to see an Merchant executive for a package or call 519-532-6704 for further information.

Merchants Fall to Mounties and Braves
By Colin Percy for the Norwich Gazette

The Norwich Merchants were looking to carry forward the momentum from a three point weekend when they took on the the streaking Paris Mounties and first place Tavistock Braves over the weekend.

The team hosted Paris on Friday night and caught the visitors off guard when Blake Pow deflected home a shot 56 seconds into the game. The lead quickly vanished when Paris equalized 1:24 later. Paris would take their first lead with 5:37 left in the first period before Harlen Vanwynsberghe slotted in his 6th goal of the season in the frame's final minute to send the team's to the dressing room knotted at two. The second period was very different for Norwich. To say the least, it was disastrous. Paris scored 3:37 into the second period and again at the 6:05 mark. They would add two more in a 1:23 span to lead by four. Paris weren't done there as they found the back of the net three mote times in the period before Dan Gallagher scored with 26 seconds left. The damage was done though as Paris took a 9-3 lead into the third period. Norwich came out with some jump in the third period coming close at times including a shot of the crossbar, but couldn't mount an historic comeback falling 9-3 to their Brant County rivals. Gallagher had the lone Norwich assist while Brandon McIntosh made 17 saves and Tyler Gubesch 8 in the loss.

On Saturday afternoon, the team traveled to Tavistock to take on the Braves for the final time this season. This time it was Norwich who was caught off guard when Tavistock scored 23 seconds into the game. They would add a powerplay goal 4:44 later and made it a three goal lead 2:22 into the second period. Ryan Dayman wired home a shorthanded goal 21 seconds later to get Norwich on the board. Vanwynsberghe cut the lead to one 1:41 later. Tavistock would add 1 more to restore their two goal leader before the second period buzzer sounded. Tavistock put the game to rest scoring a powerplay goal and a shorthanded tally in the third period. Seth Lamoure would add a consolation prize in the final minute, but Norwich still fell 6-3 to the Braves. Pow had the lone assist for Norwich while McIntosh made 37 saves in the loss.

Norwich will look to rebound with a pair of road games this weekend including a vital tilt on Friday when the visit the New Hamburg Firebirds at 7:30pm. New Hamburg sit only 1 point ahead of Norwich in the standings. Norwich wrap up the weekend on Saturday at 8pm when they visit the winless Delhi Travellers.


OVERTIME

The Norwich Merchants have a couple of exciting events on the horizon. On Friday Dec 22nd, they host the Burford Bulldogs at 8pm. This will also feature the team's annual Christmas Chili Party featuring Mrs. Shirley Miller's world famous chili along with some pizza. All are welcome. On Saturday January 6th, the team will host the PJHL Doherty Division All-Star & Prospects game. The all-star game starts at 430pm with the prospects hitting the ice at 730pm. $10 gets people into both games. Sponsorships are also available for $250. Contact and Merchant executive or call 519-532-6704 for further details.

Merchants in Tight Standings Battle
By Colin Percy for the Norwich Gazette

With only two months remaining in the regular season, now is crunch time for the Norwich Merchants to push up the standings. They kicked off a busy 3 games in four nights stretch on Thursday against the defending Ontario Champions from Ayr.

It was a rough start for Norwich as they quickly fell behind 3-0 in just over 10 minutes time. Blake Pow would answer back with his 22 nd goal of the season with 7:51 left, but gave up one more 2:40 later to trail by three after 20 minutes. The second period was just as rough with Norwich allowing four goals including a last second tally that put Norwich behind by a touchdown after 40 minutes. They Merchants didn't quit though as Matt Caskanette buried a shot 7:28 into the final frame. They could have cut the lead to 5 when Peter Cappucci was hauled down on a breakaway, but the awarded penalty shot was unsuccessful. The lead was cut to five when Simon Storoschuk slipped in his 9 th goal of the season, but Norwich could muster no more falling 8-3 to the home squad. Newcomer Dan Gallagher notched two assists with Damon Lemmon, Alex Sutherland, Storoschuk and Troy Lamoure recording 1 apiece while Tyler Gubesch made 11 saves to take the loss with Brandon McIntosh stopping 16 in relief.

Norwich looked to bounce back Friday night in front of their home fans of which almost 450 packed the Nor-Del Arena for Teddy Bear/Winter Clothing Toss night occurred. The teddy bears flew rather quickly when Storoschuk poked in the opening goal 7:20 into the game. Woodstock equalized 1:25 later, but Norwich amped up the pressure scoring three times in a 3:30 courtesy of Troy Lamoure, Pow and Harlen Vanywynsberghe. Vets defeensman Jack Dorey notched 2 second period goals setting up a tense third period. The teams traded chances, but both goaltenders stood tall in the final period, as Norwich sent the fans home happy winning 4-3. Gallagher (3), Riley Monutre, Pow, Troy Lamoure and Simon Storoschuk recorded assits while Gubesch made 22 saves including a last minute thriller to earn the victory.

On Sunday afternoon, the Merchans visited Wellesley Apple Jacks. The Merchants fell behind early letting in the opening goal 3:56 into the game. The team quickly responded with Storoschuk and Gallagher scoring in a 25 second span to take the lead. The Jacks answered back priort to the first period buzzer. Scoring calmed down in the second. Wellesley scored mid-way through the period, but Storoschuk scored late as the teams headed to the dressing room knotted t trips after 40 minutes. The third period was exciting for the fans with end to end action, but both goaltenders standing strong allowing nothing forcing overtime. The extra frame was exciting with both teams coming exceedingly close to earning the extra point, but after 7 minutes of 3 on 3, the game ended in a tie.

Norwich face another tough weekend coming up. They host Paris on Friday at 8pm. The team will be honouring the 1998-99 – 2007-08 alumni at this game. At Saturday they visit the Tavistock Braves for a 230pm matinee.

OVERTIME

The Norwich Merchants will be hosting the PJHL Doherty Division All-Star & Prospects games on Saturday January 6 th, 2018. The All-Star game starts at 4:30pm with the prospects going at 7:30pm. Tickets are only $10/person. The Merchants are also accepting sponsorships for the event for $250. Anyone interested is asked to see an Merchant executive for a package or call 519-532-6704 for further information.


Merchants Split Pair of Home Games
By Colin Percy for the Norwich Gazette

The Norwich Merchants played a pair of games on home ice this weekend including Friday night when they hosted the Wellesley Apple Jacks on Champions Night, where the organization honoured the 1969/70 & 1985/86 Ontario Champion teams as part of their 50 th season celebrations.

Things did not start well for Norwich as the Apple Jacks scored three times in the first period that saw a large number of shots on both sides with Wellesley outshooting Norwich 17-16. Norwich struggled to get anything going in the second period either as the Jacks scored twice more in the second period. The assault continued in the third with Wellesley burying 3 more goals including once on the powerplay as the Merchants dropped their third straight game, this time 8-0. Tyler Gubesch made 24 saves in the loss while Brandon McIntosh stopped 10 of 11 shots faced in relief.

Saturday night would be a different story for Norwich when they hosted the winless Delhi Travellers. Blake Pow ensured the team wouldn't be shutout for a second straight night when he poked home his 19 th goal of the season 4:11 into the game. Riley Monture wired a shot in from the hash marks 3:23 later before Delhi got on the scoreboard mid-way through the first. Pow buried his second of the game early in the first period and completed the hat trick at the 7:28 mark. Harlen VanWynsberghe notched his 4 th goal of the season as Norwich led 5-1 after 40 minutes. Things calmed down in the 3 rd period with no goals tallied as the Merchants held on for the win while sending Delhi to a 22 nd consecutive loss to start the season. Simon Storoschuk, Seth Lamoure, Ryan Dayman (2), VanWynsberghe, Matt Larochelle and Peter Cappucci notched assists for Norwich while Gubesch made 20 saves to earn his 7 th win of the season.

Norwich now begin a busy stretch with 3 games in 4 nights. On Thursday they visit the Ayr Centennials at 7:30pm before returning home on Friday night when they host the Woodstock Navy Vets at 8pm. That night will also feature the team's annual teddy bear/winter clothing toss where fans are encouraged to bring stuffed animals and articles of winter clothing to be tossed on the ice after the Merchants first goal. These items will then be donated to local charities to help those less fortunate this holiday season. The team wraps up the weekend on Sunday afternoon when they look for redemption against Wellesley as they visit the Jacks at 2pm.

The team will also be busy on Saturday as they participate in the Norwich Santa Claus parade beginning at 11am. All your favourite Merchant players will be on hand to spread some holiday cheer.


OVERTIME

The Norwich Merchants will be hosting the PJHL Doherty Division All-Star & Prospects games on Saturday January 6 th, 2018. The All-Star game starts at 4:30pm with the prospects going at 7:30pm. Tickets are only $10/person. The Merchants are also accepting sponsorships for the event for $250. Anyone interested is asked to see an Merchant executive for a package or call 519-532-6704 for further information.


Merchants Closing in on 4th Place
By Colin Percy for the Norwich Gazette

The Norwich Merchants were looking to carry forward the momentum from last weekend's 3 victories when they hit the road for a pair of matches ahead of Norwich in the standings.

On Friday, the team visited the Woodstock Navy Vets in the Battle of 59. It was a tough start for Norwich as the Vets scored 5:58 into the game. Most of the first period action saw Norwich play in their own end. When the buzzer sounded, Woodstock outshot the Merchants 17-3, but Merchants goaltender Tyler Gubesch kept Norwich in the game giving up only the one goal. Norwich attacked better in the second period and at the 8:12 mark, Blake Pow extended his goal scoring streak to 4 games and point streak to 8 games thanks to his 14th of the season. A Norwich penalty moments later proved costly, as the Vets capitalized with the extra man to take a 2-1 lead after 40 minutes. Norwich would press hard in the third period outshooting the Navy Vets 11-6, but would not find an equalizer falling by one goal to their county rivals. Harlen VanWynsberghe had the lone Norwich assist while Gubesch was spectacular stopping 34 of 36 shots faced.

The Merchants looked to rebound on Saturday night when they visited the Paris Mounties. Norwich would not have a slow start in back to back nights as Pow continued his hot play scoring 57 seconds into the game. Newcomer Peter Cappucci made it 2-0 five minutes later and Norwich weren't done there. Pow made it 3-0 with 6:43 left and Ryan Dayman sniped home his second of the season 15 seconds later as Norwich led 4-0 after the first period. The Mounties would claw one back 1:30 into the second period – that frame's only goal. Pow would complete the hat trick 7:46 into the third period. Paris would answer back with a goal 5:49 later. Dayman would add an empty netter with 1:50 left to put the game to bed as Norwich won 6-2 to pull within 4 points of Paris for 4th place in the standings. Alex Sutherland, Simon Storoschuk, John Foreman, Troy Lamoure (2), Seth Lamoure and Brandon Velda had the assists for Norwich while Gubesch was solid again making 38 saves in the win.

Norwich face another tough week ahead as they close out their 3 game road trip on Thursday night in Ayr to take on the first place Centennials at 730pm. Norwich return home on Friday night when they host the 3rd place Tavistock Braves at 8pm.

On Saturday, the team will be holding their fall fish fry at the Norwich Community Centre. The event features an all you can eat perch & pickerel dinner with all the fixings along with a dance with DJ Brian Grosvold. There will also be a live and silent auction taking place with a number of items up for grabs including a week rental at a vacation house in Florida, a Honda Motor, a wheelbarrow of booze, a golf package, NHL jerseys, a park bench, a pair of Toronto Maple Leaf tickets, several London Knights tickets, a signed Glenn Howard curling sweater, an LA Kings jacket, a handmade quilt and a stained glass piece featuring the Merchants 50th season logo among several other items that have been generously donated by several people and businesses. There are still tickets available for $30 from any Merchant executive member or by calling or texting 519-532-6704.


OVERTIME

On January 6th, 2018, the Norwich Merchants will be holding the PJHL Doherty Division All-Star & Prospects game. Sponsorships are now available for $250. Contact any Merchant executive member for a package.

Merchants Have Perfect 3 for 3 Weekend
By Colin Percy for the Norwich Gazette
November 6, 2017

The Norwich Merchants had been playing tight hockey games in recent weeks, but coming up on the losing end including a pair of 5-3 losses to Ayr & Tavistock to close out October. They looked to get things back on track with 3 games in 3 nights to open November.

On Friday night, the Delhi Travellers came to town on a night where Norwich honoured another decade of Alumni members, this time the 1988/89 – 1997/98 teams. John Foreman opened the scoring for Norwich 8:19 into the first period. Blake Pow extended his point streak to 6 games when he buried a shot 3:54 later and Jeremy Bomberry made it 3-0 with 1:07 left in the opening 20 minutes. The second period started with two Merchant goals in the first 38 seconds courtesy of Riley Monutre and Simon Storochuk. Pow slipped home his second of the game before Delhi got on the board mid-way through the middle frame. Mason Cooper and Bomberry added a pair of goals for Norwich to lead 8-1 after 40 minutes. Norwich wasn't done there as the onslaught continued in the third period. Seth Lamoure scored his second of the season 1:13 into the final period. Cooper scored his second of the game to put Norwich into double digits in the goal column with 10:08 remaining. Harlen VanWynsberghe made it 11-1 and Matt Larochelle tallied a powerplay goal in the final minute as the Merchants crushed Delhi 12-1. VanWynsberghe (3), Pow (2), Troy Lamoure, Larochelle (3), Cooper, Bomberry, Zach Jankovic, Storoschuk (2), Damon Lemmon, Foreman, Ryan Dayman and Matt Caskanette (2) had the assists for Norwich while Tyler Gubesch stopped 22 of 23 shots to earn the victory.

On Saturday, the Merchants paid the first visit to Wellesley on the season and it did not start well for Norwich. The Apple Jacks roared out to a 3-0 lead in the first 15:35 of the game. Pow finally got Norwich on the board with 26 seconds left. Monture made it 3-2 early in the second period and Caskanette completed the comeback mid-way through the period. Wellesley restored the lead late in the second, but Norwich equalized once more 7:08 into the third courtesy of Brandon Velda's 5th of the season. Velda scored his 6th of the season 1:29 later to give Norwich their first lead of the game. Wellesley continued to press in the final 10 minutes and pulled the goalie late, but could not find a game-tying goal. Jankovic and Foreman added empty-net goals as Norwich won 7-4. Bomberry (2), Caskanette, VanWynsberghe (3), Larochelle (2) and Troy Lamoure registered assists while Gubesch made 34 saves to earn his 5th win of the season.

The Merchants looked to make it a perfect weekend when they hosted the New Hamburg Firebirds on Sunday afternoon. For the second straight night, Norwich had to play comeback as the Firebirds opened the scoring 2:34 into the game. Storoschuk whistled home a shot with 6 seconds left in the frame to knot the game at aces after the first period. The teams again traded lone goal in the second period with Monture scoring 4:12 into the second with New Hamburg equalizing late. Cooper roofed a shot 7:07 into the third period to give Norwich a 3-2 lead. VanWynsberghe wired home a second unasnwered goal with 5:55 left as the Merchants completed a perfect 6 point weekend with a 4-2 win. The victory vaulted the Merchants into 5th place in the Doherty Division standings. VanWynsberghe (2), Bomberry (2) and Monture notched assists for Norwich while Brandon McIntosh made 30 saves to earn the victory.

Norwich will now hit the road for a pair of games this weekend. On Friday they visit Woodstock for Round 3 of the Battle of 59 against the Navy Vets. Puck drop is set for 745pm. On Saturday they visit the Paris Mounties at 730pm. They will close out a three game road trip in Ayr on Thursday November 16th at 730pm.

OVERTIME

Tickets still remain for the Merchants Fall Fish Fry on Saturday November 18th. The event features an all you can eat perch & pickerel dinner with all the fixings along with a dance with DJ Brian Grosvold. There will also be a live and silent auction at the event that features a number of incredible items up for grabs. Tickets are only $30/person and are available from all Merchant executive members.

Merchants win Two of Three on Weekend.
By Colin Percy for the Norwich Gazette


It has not been the ideal start for the Norwich Merchants in the early part of the season with the squad only amassing three points in the first six games of the year. They had an opportunity to change that with three games in three nights this weekend.

The Wellesley Apple Jacks paid a visit to the Nor-Del Arena on Friday night in front of 360 home fans many eager to partake in the team's Meet the Players festivities later that evening. Alex Sutherland opened the scoring 9:03 into the game to give Norwich the lead after 20 minutes. Riley Monture doubled that lead early in the second with his 4th goal of the season. The Merchants' achilles heel during the season thus far had been penalty trouble and Friday night didn't see those issues rectified as the Jacks got on the board late in the second period while playing with the man advantage. Blake Pow answered back with a powerplay tally of his own for Norwich with 1:49 remaining in the period. Things were looking grim for Wellesley in the third period, but they amped up the pressure registering their second powerplay goal of the night with 10:55 remaining. Pow restored the 2 goal lead with 5:31 left, but that two goal lead quickly reverted back to one 1:38 later thanks to the Jacks third powerplay goal of the game. Wellesley thought they found an equalizer late with less than three minutes left in the game only for it to be disallowed sending some of the Jacks player into a tizzy. When play resumed the Jacks continued their high tempo offense stunned the Norwich crowd knotting the game at four with 1:31 left. Overtime looked likely in this game, but with 1:03 left in the game Pow whistled home his 3rd of the game which saw the Nor-Del Arena erupt with excitement. A last minute dash by Wellesley saw them fall short as Norwich won the thriller 5-4. Seth Lamoure (2), Mason Cooper, Matt Larochelle, Zach Jankovic and Simon Storoschuk had the assists for Norwich while Tyler Gubesch made 25 saves to pick up his first win of the season.

The Merchants looked to make it 2 straight wins on Saturday night when they travelled to Delhi to take on the winless Travellers. Things started well for Norwich as Jankovic roofed home a wrist shot for his first of the season 9:14 into the game. Brandon Velda wired home a shot of his own 25 seconds later and buried his second of the game 1:19 into the middle frame to give Norwich a 3-0 lead after 40 minutes. Sawyer Thompson clinched the victory for Norwich when he slipped home his second of the season six minutes into the final period as Norwich held on for the 4-0 shutout victory. Sam Davies, Mason Cooper (3), Damon Lemmon and Brandon Odorjan notched assists for Norwich while Tyler Guebesch stopped a generous 31 shots to earn his first shutout of the season. Norwich went a perfect 4 for 4 on the penalty kill during this game.

The team looked to make it a perfect 3 for 3 on the weekend when they returned home to take on the second place Tavistock Braves on Sunday afternoon. Things did not start well for Norwich as the Braves buried two first period goals while the Merchants were unresponsive. A fluky Tavistock goal opened the goal scoring three minutes into the second period that saw a Merchants clearance bounce off their own player and into the back of their own net. John Foreman slipped home his first of the season 3:35 later, but the Braves restored their 3 goal lead 1:40 later. Tavistock would add one more before the second period buzzer and clinch the victory with one more goal in the third as Norwich fell 6-1 to the Braves. Monture and Ryan Dayman notched assists on the Foreman goal while Brandon McIntosh stopped 10 shots and Gubesch made 12 saves in the loss.

Norwich will look to climb the standings with another 3 games in 3 nights weekend. On Friday they host the Burford Bulldogs at 8pm in a game that will see the 1978/79 through 1987/88 alumni honoured. There will also be a Karaoke event following the game. On Saturday Norwich head to Woodstock for Round 2 of the Battle of 59 against the Woodstock Navy Vets. Puck drop is set for 745pm. Norwich will close out the weekend on Sunday night when they visit Burford at 8:30pm.


OVERTIME

The Merchants have a number of events upcoming as they continue their 50th season celebrations. On Friday oct 27th, the team hosts the Ayr Centennials at 8pm. Following the game Cody James Wood performs in the blueline club. On Friday Nov 3rd, the team honours the 1988/89-1997/98 teams with another Alumni night and then on Saturday Novemeber 18th, the team holds it's fall fish fry with an all you can eat perch & pickerel dinner along with a dance with DJ Brian Grosvold. The event also features a live and silent auction. Tickets are only $30/person and can be purchased from any Merchants executive member.




Merchants Lose to Braves & Mounties
By Colin Percy for the Norwich Gazette

The Norwich Merchants closed out September with a whimper after dropping games to Tavistock and Paris over the weekend.

On Friday, the Merchants played host to the Tavistock Braves in front of 50 plus alumni who attended the game and were honoured during the first intermission. Things started well for Norwich as Brandon Velda and Ryan Dayman scored 9 seconds apart. Penalty trouble prove costly for Norwich in the second period as the Braves scored back-to-back powerplay goals in the first 1:12 of the middle frame. Tavistock took the lead at the 7:23 mark, but Josh Winger clawed one back 52 seconds later. Tavistock would bury a fourth goal of the period with 5:20 remaining to take a lead to the dressing room after 40 minutes. Riley Monture tipped in a shot at the 8:07 mark of the third, but Tavistock answered back with 2 goals to put the game to bed with a 6-4 scoreline in favour of the Braves. Troy Lamoure, John Foreman (2) and Alex Sutherland (2) had the assists for Norwich while Tyler Gubesch made 24 saves in the loss.

Norwich looked to rebound on the road Saturday night when they visited the Paris Mounties. The home team scored 4:09 into the game, but Mason Cooper rifled home an equalizer 50 seconds later. Paris restored the lead early in the second, but again Norwich answered quickly thanks to Simon Storoschuk. Unfortunately for Norwich, the wheels quickly fell off. The Mounties buried 4 more 2nd period goals, including two while on the powerplay and didn't stop the assault in the third finding the back of the net twice more to clinch the 8-2 victory. Cooper had the lone Merchant assist while Brandon Mcintosh made 17 saves and Gubesch 6 in the loss.

Norwich will look to bounce back with a quiet weekend on tap. Norwich's lone game will see them host Paris at 8pm on Friday night.


OVERTIME

Tickets are now available for the Merchants Fall Fish Fry. The event features an all you can eat perch & pickerel dinner with all the fixings, followed by a dance with DJ Brian Grosvold. There will also be a live and silent auction at the event. Tickets are only $30/person and are available from all Merchant executive members or by calling or texting 519-532-6704.


 
 
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