from Josh Howald, www.walkertoncapitals.com
Huge win for Caps, 10-year-old fan
Walkerton sends crowd home happy with win over Saugeen Shores
The Walkerton Community Centre was turned into a “House of Orange” Saturday night, and by the end of the night, it was a happy house indeed.
Nathan Perrott scored twice and Jason Hamilton posted the first shutout in (current) franchise history as the Capitals downed the league leading Saugeen Shores Winterhawks 2-0. With the win, the team kept its playoff hopes alive, while Caps fans combined to raise more than $5,000 for Walkerton’s Jasmine Rutledge, 10, who diagnosed with childhood leukemia this summer.
Walkerton’s biggest crowd of the season, dressed in orange to signify the battle against leukemia, was treated to an entertaining hockey game that went right down to the wire.
The eventual game winner was actually scored midway through the first period. On a Walkerton power play, a poor clearing pass bounced to Perrott in the slot, who made no mistake. Curt Robinson and Andy Cline drew the assists.
Both teams had plenty of scoring chances, but were stymied by some impressive goaltending. Hamilton made some huge saves down the stretch to maintain Walkerton’s lead. Though not quite as busy, Andrew Smith was solid in the other crease and refused to give up another goal. Perrott eventually sealed the win when he scored into an empty net with 41.3 seconds remaining in the game. Mitch Allen and Kyle Roulston assisted on the marker.
It was a huge win for Walkerton, who needed a victory to remain in playoff contention. While the Winterhawks (19-4) sit first overall in the WOAA Senior AA North Division, the Capitals have moved to within three points of a postseason berth with two games left on the schedule. Friday night’s game with Shallow Lake was postponed due to weather and has yet to be rescheduled. That’s a must-win game for Walkerton. Friday night, the Caps will have to take at least a point from the Winterhawks as the teams will have a rematch – this time in Port Elgin.
There were plenty of smiles to be found in the House of Orange Saturday, but none as big as Jasmine Rutledge’s. She dropped the ceremonial first puck, and the Winterhawk and Capital players all chipped in to present her with a new iPad. Through admission by donation, a 50/50 draw, raffles and a head shave, more than $5,000 was raised for the brave, young fan. She was thrilled to be presented with the game puck by captain Andy Cline following the game. The Capitals would like to thank all the game sponsors, and particularly the Walkerton community for showing up at this great fundraiser.
As mentioned, these two teams will meet again Friday night. It’s an 8:30 p.m. start at the ‘Plex in Port Elgin, and it should be a good one. For information on the rescheduled game against Shallow Lake, visit the Capitals website.