Georgetown Raiders' Adam DeJong leaps for a loose puck during the Raiders' Provincial Jr. A Hockey League contest against Bramalea Wednesday at Alcott Arena. DeJong had three assists in Georgetown's 7-2 victory and also found out he was among a trio of Raiders headed for the league all-star game.
Any elation in the Georgetown Raiders' camp over having three players selected to next week's OHA Provincial Jr. A Hockey League All-Star Game in Markham was tempered somewhat by a frightening injury suffered during a practice earlier this week. Centre Ryan Ford of Cambridge was accidentally clipped in the eye by linemate Matt Carter's stick on Monday night and the team's leading scorer, who actually wasn't one of the three chosen for the all-star contest, may not be back until the playoffs begin Feb. 9. The 20-year-old Ford was wearing a half-visor at the time of the accident and had surgery on Wednesday. "The good news is that there's little damage to the eyeball itself and the doctors are saying he could be back in 10 days to two weeks," said Raiders' director of player personnel Peter Mavroudis. "The eyelid was cut and right now they just want to give him time to rest. Of course, Ryan wanted to play Wednesday night." The 25-9-3-3 Raiders didn't seem to miss Ford's 24 goals and 34 assists against last-place Bramalea, skating to an easy 7-2 win, outshooting the 1-381-2 Blues 56-20. Including their Newmarket Showcase Tournament triumph, the Raiders have now won 13 straight games heading into tonight's (Friday) return match in Bramalea. Kyle Schwende (2), Wade Finegan (2), Greg Lever, George Lovatsis and Justin Wakewich were the Georgetown goal scorers on Wednesday. The Raiders' Kitchener connection of Schwende, Adam DeJong and defender Matt Thomson were given the nod by Brampton coach Paul Crane and Aurora's Jerome Dupont to represent the West/North squad in Markham. All three are products of the Kitchener Jr. B Dutchmen and chose to make the commute to Georgetown for their final season of junior eligibility. For DeJong, he said the accolades are nice, but the hard-charging Raiders are focused on making an impact in the playoffs, although their fifth-place standing in the OPJAHL's West Division will make their road more difficult. "That's fine", he added, almost preferring to be the dark horse in the league's toughest conference. Last year, DeJong was a member of the Milton IceHawks' squad that was favoured by many to make it to the Royal Bank Cup national championship, but like the Raiders, the 'Hawks run ended in the second round of the post-season. "This team seems to have everything-- well-balanced scoring, goaltending and guys who are great checkers-- a team made for the playoffs," said DeJong, who has had scholarship offers from U.S. schools such as American International College near Boston. "You can put a bunch of superstars together like we had in Milton but I like the team we have here. We'll see what happens pretty soon." After a lull in the schedule, the Raiders will play their final nine regular-season games in the next couple of weeks, including a home contest against Milton Saturday beginning at 7:30 p.m. Mavroudis has one blank card remaining to sign a player and said he's working on a few possibilities. Secondyear winger Adam Campbell has been loaned to the Thorold Jr. B Blackhawks for the remainder of the season and a deal is in place to bring him back to Georgetown for next year.