Mariners handed early exit from playoffs after 3-2 double OT loss in Game 2 of mini-series

Tina
Tina Comeau
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By Tina Comeau

THE VANGUARD

www.thevanguard.ca

 

This isn’t how Mariners fans, nor the team, envisioned seeing the season end.

Finishing 22 points ahead of the Valley Wildcats in the regular season, the Mariners were knocked out of playoffs after losing two straight games to Valley in the Eastlink Division best-of-three-game mini-series.

The Mariners lost the first game 4-2 in Yarmouth.

The 3-2 loss that ended the Mariners season came at 6:40 in a second overtime period of Game 2 in Kentville on Tuesday evening, March 11, off the stick of Valley’s Colby Tower with an assist from Jean-Marc Evans-Renaud.

But maybe the bigger story of this mini-series was the performance of Wildcats goalie Blade Mann-Dixon who – after allowing just two Mariners goals off 51 shots in Game 1 on Monday, March 10 – prevented 53 of 55 Mariners shots from reaching the net in Game 2.

The Mariners, who early on in the regular season had sat in first place in the Eastlink Division with a 13-game win streak, now find themselves making an early exit from the playoffs.

The Valley Wildcats will go on to play the division-leading Truro Bearcats in a best-of-seven-game semi-final playoff series beginning Saturday.

The Amherst Ramblers and the Pictou Crushers start their semi-final series on Thursday.

In the Meek Division the series between Miramichi and Summerside starts on Saturday, with the Dieppe-Woodstock series beginning on Sunday.

The Mariners had finished the regular season in the Eastlink Division in fourth place, tied for points with the Amherst Ramblers at 65. The Ramblers claimed third place, however, due to the tiebreaker.

A controversial loss earlier in the season in which Yarmouth lost in a shootout with Summerside (game video showed that the Mariners had won the shootout but the league president ruled it could not overrule the game result which had seen Summerside win when the shootout was extended) had cost Yarmouth one valuable point that haunted it up until the final standings of the regular season.

But an extended losing streak, that came on the heels of its winning streak, cost the Mariners more points than that one game.

The end of the Mariners’ season sees many 20-year-olds finishing their junior A careers. The list includes Colin Campbell, Kyle Campbell, Josh Desmond, Braden Mercier, Zack Henry, Luke Warner, Justin Rasmussen, Danny Wicks and Joe Echelmier.

 

The following is the MHL game recap from Game 2 of the miniseries:

Jean-Marc Evans-Renaud led the Wildcats with 1 goal and 1 assist while Danny Wicks and Kyle Campbell led the Mariners with 1 goal and 1 assist each.

Wicks (powerplay, Kyle Campbell, Josh Desmond) opened the scoring at 14:30 to give the Mariners a 1-0 lead after the first period. Jeremy Butterworth (powerplay, Ryckman, Atwater) scored at 10:39 to tie the game at 1-1 after the second period.

Kyle Campbell (Wicks, Justin Rasmussen) scored at 3:51 to regain the lead for Yarmouth at 2-1. Evans-Renaud (Colby Tower) scored at 4:59 to even the score at 2-2 and force extra time.

After a scoreless first overtime period, Colby Tower ended a Mariner comeback when he scored at 6:40 of the 2nd overtime period to eliminate Yarmouth from further playoff action and advanced his club to the next round.

Valley went 1 for 5 on the powerplay while Yarmouth went 1 for 6.

Blade Mann-Dixon stopped 53 of 55 shots for the win while Chase Gaudet stopped 25 of 28 shots in the loss.

 

 

Organizations: Mariners, Wildcats, Eastlink Division

Geographic location: Colby Tower, Yarmouth, Kentville Miramichi

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