Wilson nets two in Hurricanes 7-3 win

Chris Abbott/Tillsonburg News Tillsonburg Hurricanes Kameron Wilson, right, fires a top shelf shot to score his second goal of the game Friday night in a 7-3 GMHL junior hockey win over North York. TN

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It was a rare experience for Tillsonburg Hurricanes’ Kameron Wilson Friday night scoring twice in a 7-3 GMHL win over visiting North York.

“That’s a career-high for me,” said the 20-year-old defenceman.

“Never scored two in one,” he laughed, describing himself as a more of a ‘stay at home’ defenceman.

“I like to be very reliable in the D-zone with a good first pass – that’s how I’d describe myself as a player. When it’s penalty kills, that’s when I want to be out there the most. That’s my thing, I love the penalty kills.”

He had ample opportunity to kill penalties Friday night as the Hurricanes were short-handed back-to-back in the third period.

“It can be kind of crazy sometimes in this league,” he smiled.

Outshot 40-20 after two periods, but holding a 5-2 lead going into the third, the Hurricanes were playing a dump-and-chase game – defencemen dumping into the neutral zone, forwards chasing, and if they recovered the puck, then dumping it into North York’s zone.

“We’re not super deep on bodies right now,” said Wilson. “We’ve got a couple guys injured and we were just trying to save something for (Tuesday) against St. George. That’s our big test. We really want to split that series with them.”

Heading into the home stretch of their Greater Metro Hockey League season, the Ravens and Hurricanes are 1-2 in the South Division, with Tillsonburg trailing St. George by about 10 points and the Hurricanes holding a similar lead over third.

Tillsonburg had defeated St. George 8-6 early in the season, but the Ravens took the next two. Tuesday will be the last time they meet in the regular season.

“It was kind of a barn-burner early in the year (8-6 win), then we lost two tight ones at home, and this is our last one. So that’s kind of our test.”

The game plan going into the St. George game, said Wilson, was not to play ‘them’ but to play their own game.

“We’re going there to not make mistakes. The only way we’re losing that game is us making more mistakes than them. We have to shut down their offence, which I think we can do. We just all have to come focused and ready to go.”

This late in the season, the teams know each other well, and Wilson already knew in advance who he would match up on the Ravens.

Friday’s hold-the-fort strategy in the latter stages of the game led to Wilson’s second goal of the night.

Midway through the third he carried it to the red line where he was challenged by a North York player. Wilson wound up and blasted a slap shot in the direction of the North York Net – a routine play. He admitted it wasn’t really meant to be a shot, more just getting it deep. It sailed untouched into the top right corner, glove side.

“I’m used to the chip and chase,” Wilson smiled. “It dropped right under the crossbar.”

The North York player may – or may not have – deflected the shot, and may or may not have screened the goalie. But Wilson said he did not see a deflection or screen.

“I didn’t feel it (deflection). No, he wasn’t screened.”

Wilson’s first goal, which opened the night’s scoring at 17:23 of the first period, was more of a ‘hockey’ goal. Catching a chipped pass into the slot, he ripped a snapper from the point and it went in blocker-side.

Not limited to penalty kills, Wilson also joins power plays.

“It was just a little mixed up today. They were trying something new, they wanted me to play ‘net front’ on the PP instead of quarterback on the blue line. I was like, ‘Wonder how that’s going to go?’

“It’s funny that I’m a D-man, but my favourite thing is tipping pucks. So if I need to I can get a quick rebound.”

A first-year Hurricane, 20-year-old Wilson (turning 21 in March) joined the team from the Bracebridge-Muskoka area. Recruited by Hurricanes head coach/GM Jason Dopaco in the summer, Wilson made the trip south to check out the town – and team, which was loading up with overage players for the season – before signing.

“Just to make sure everything was right for one of my last years, and it looked promising so I gave it a shot. We’ve got a strong leadership group.”