Valley Junior A Wildcats
Justin Thomas picked up the first Valley Junior A Wildcats goal three minutes into the first period, and the Kentville team never looked back.
The Wildcats blanked the Campbellton Tigers 6-0 in a decisive victory on home ice Oct. 12. The win improves Kentville’s record to six wins, two losses and one overtime loss.
“We’re happy with the result tonight,” said the Wildcats’ captain, Brandon Boutilier, who scored his first goal of the season after being out for most of the beginning of the season with a shoulder injury. “It was a team effort. I think we’ve already doubled our win total from last year.”
Boutilier should know; the former Pictou County Weeks Crusher was traded to the Metro Marauders in Halifax and remained there for a year and a half. When the team moved to Kentville this fall, Boutilier came along.
He attributes a lot of the team’s success thus far to the community.
“It’s been phenomenal…unbelievable. The way the community has supported this team, you can’t ask for anything better,” Boutilier said. “I mean, the Midget team was playing tonight and we still had a great crowd. This is a great place to play.”
Thomas led the Wildcats, picking up the first two markers of the game in the first period. Boutilier’s goal came 41 seconds into the second period, while Mitchell Jones chipped in a goal at 16:55 and Brad Ryckman scored in the dying minute of the middle frame. Brandon Weir sealed the deal for the Wildcats with a third-period goal. Blade Mann-Dixon stopped all 26 shots for the shutout win and Darcy Burley had three assists.
This was the second win of the weekend for the Wildcats, who won on the road on Oct. 11 with a 3-2 shootout win over the Woodstock Slammers. Mike Molloy opened the scoring three minutes into the first period, then Colby Tower’s power play goal in the second period extended the lead to 2-0. Woodstock came back, however, to tie the game and force extra time. There was no scoring in the extra five minute overtime period and the Wildcats won the game in the shootout. Wildcats’ goalie Jeff Arkin stopped 48 of 50 shots for the tie.
“It’s great to win both games this weekend,” Boutilier said. “(Oct. 11) in Woodstock, Arkin stood on his head in the shoot out. We just had a mental lapse for 10 minutes, and they scored two chintzy goals. It shouldn’t happen, but we battled back and you can’t complain about the results.”
The Wildcats next hit the ice on Oct. 18, when they host the Amherst Ramblers, and on Oct. 19, they host Dieppe.