Doug Slipacoff says his Mooretown Flags of the Great Lakes Junior “C” Hockey League are a work in progress.
“It’s one day at a time,” said the Flags rookie head coach, who was named to the post in May. “Every game we get a little bit better and eventually it’s going to start clicking and we’ll put a full game together.”
The former Junior “B” champion with the Petrolia Jets says his club, with ten new players in the lineup, has ridden the calming influence of overage goaltender Brandon Johnson to some early season success. His recent heroics include a 64-save performance in an overtime victory in Lakeshore, and a 52-shot shutout against Alvinston, the first shutout of his junior hockey career, both late last month.
“He’s the best goalie in the league that we’ve seen so far,” Slipacoff said of his Sarnia-born puckstopper.
“So it’s good that he’s on our side.”
For his effort, Johnson was named the league’s Player of the Month for September.
Although the Flags aren’t as consistent offensively of defensively as he would like, Slipacoff has been impressed with the dedication of his young team and how they have distributed the scoring throughout the lineup.
At presstime they were 5-2 and in fourth place.
With a little more than three months remaining in the regular season, the 31-year-old bench boss says the goal remains to finish in the top four of the nine-team league and have home ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs.
“I think we have the talent to do it,” he said.
The bulk of Mooretown’s home games are played on Saturday nights, including a matchup with the defending league and provincial champions from Essex this Saturday, October 17 at the Moore Sports Complex at 7:30 pm.