Two last minute goals crush River Rats chances against Spryfield

Dan Boyd
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Published on December 04, 2013

Team captain Dave Phillips, left, and assistant captain Tom Malone look to take a shot on the Spryfield net Dec. 1.

Published on December 04, 2013

Anthony Sangster made some solid saves against the league-leading Spryfield Silver and Black Attack Dec. 1.

Published on December 04, 2013

Jake Hopewell, far left, and Matt Lyttle defend their goalie, Anthony Sangster, as they kill off a penalty.

Published on December 04, 2013

Matt Lahey, right, does some fancy stick work in front of the Spryfield net in hopes of besting the goaltender Dec. 1.

Published on December 04, 2013

Ryan Helpard, sandwiched between Spryfield players, goes for the puck during Dec. 1 action at the Hants Exhibition Arena in Windsor.

Published on December 04, 2013

Tom Malone takes a shot on net as the Spryfield crease gets crowded with players. The River Rats lost the Dec. 1 home game 6-3.

 

Published on December 04, 2013

Ben Ross wheels the puck up the ice during the River Rats home game against the Spryfield Silver and Black Attack.

Published on December 04, 2013

Ben Nelson pushed the puck up the ice as the River Rats attempted to score in the second period of play against Spryfield Dec. 1.

Published on December 04, 2013

The Spryfield goaltender gets his stick on the puck after Ben Ross made a play on net.

Sunday's early evening Nova Scotia Junior C Hockey League game between the Avon River Rats and Spryfield Silver and Black Attack at Hants Exhibition Arena was like day and night compared to the three previous games played between the teams this season.

Spryfield has dominated the play, winning the three prior bouts and outscoring the River Rats 19-2.

During the Dec. 1 home game, the River Rats opened scoring on a goal by Jeremy Parker to take a 1-0 lead.  

The Attack then knotted the score at 1-1 after the Rats missed two golden opportunities to clear the puck in front of a wide-open net and their goaltender Anthony Sangster.  The Attack did not miss a third time.  

With the River Rats playing short-handed, Spryfield took a 3-1 lead to end the first period.

Spryfield dominated the early part of the second period but thanks a great pad save by Sangster, the River Rats stayed in the game.

Sangster also made another outstanding pad save after Ryan Helpard went down and blocked a shot from the point.

The Rats made it 3-2 on somewhat of a unique goal during a power-play midway through the second period as Parker missed on his shot, driving it off the boards to the left of the Spryfield netminder, only to see the puck re-appear directly in front of the net onto the stick of Ben Ross, who then rifled it home.

The score was 4-2 after the second period.

Early in the third period, Sangster made a great stick save for the Rats and then a scramble less than two minutes later in the Spryfield end saw Tyler Young score his 14th goal of the season.

The Rats dominated play for a good portion of the final 30 minutes of the game.  

Sangster, who turned away 25 of the 29 shots he faced, was pulled in the final minute of the game to give the River Rats a better chance of tying the match. However, the Attack then scored two empty net goals to take a 6-3 win.

 “It is always frustrating when you are throwing everything possible at the net, including bodies, yet fail to score,” said River Rats team captain Dave Phillips following the game.

Despite the close game until the very end, Phillips said his team won’t be discouraged by the loss.

“We are confident; we feel we are a better team than our record indicates and we will simply have to continue to show up and play competitive hockey.”

The River Rats will take their 5-11 record on the season into games this Saturday, Dec. 7, at home beginning at 6:45 p.m. against the South Shore Wild before making their final trip of 2013 to Amherst on Sunday afternoon, Dec. 8. 

 

 

Organizations: Nova Scotia Junior C Hockey League, Avon River Rats, Spryfield Silver and Black Attack

Geographic location: Amherst, Windsor, Hants County Hants Exhibition Arena

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