Goalie Paul Janes (File)
The Kings Mutual Valley Bantam AAA Wildcats won twice and advanced to the quarter-finals of the 22-team East Coast Ice Jam tournament before being eliminated by the eventual champions, the Bubba Rays Gulls.
Kings Mutual opened Jan. 8 against the Newbridge Academy Senators and dropped a 5-1 decision, with Josh Foster scoring the lone Valley goal.
In their second game Jan. 9, the Bantams dropped a 2-1 decision to Truro, with Carson Lanceleve scoring the winning goal with 31 seconds left in the third. Jonah Vidito had lone the goal for Kings Mutual.
In their final round robin game Jan. 10, the Bantams took on Sherwood Falcons from P.E.I. After spotting Sherwood an early 2-0 lead, Kings Mutual exploded for eight unanswered goals to claim an 8-2 victory.
The Wildcats scored four goals in the second (Foster, Vidito, Christopher Llewellyn on the power play and Hunter Woodland), and four more in the third (Liam Parker, two from Jakob McQuillin and Douglas Kosciukiewicz). Both of McQuillan’s goals were shorthanded, while Kosciukiewicz connected on the power play. The Wildcats had 45 shots on goal to only 17 for Sherwood.
Kings Mutual advanced to the playoff ‘Round of 16’, and a meeting with the Moncton Blue Water Mobil Hawks. The Wildcats promptly made it two wins in a row by edging Moncton 2-1.
Again, Kings Mutual fell behind early, trailing 1-0 after one period, but Patrick Howatt tied the score with 4:30 left in the second and McQuillin netted the eventual game-winner with 3:34 remaining in the third.
For the second game in a row, the Wildcats got solid goaltending, with Paul Janes stopping 20 of 21 shots.
The bubble finally burst for Kings Mutual with a 10-3 quarter-final loss to the Bubba Rays squad. Kosciukiewicz had two goals for Kings Mutual and McQuillin added a single marker.
The news wasn’t as good for the Midget Wildcats in the 20-team Midget division of the tournament. The Midgets finished 0-3 and did not qualify for the playoffs.
In the 3-1 loss to Moncton on Jan. 9, Alex Rawding had the lone Valley goal.
The Midgets then dropped a 4-1 decision to Central Icepak from Newfoundland Jan. 10, with Rawding scoring the only Valley goal.
Valley’s third and final round game was Jan. 10 against Saint John Vitos. The score was 1-1 after one period, with Makail Parker tying the score at one with 53 seconds left in the period, but Saint John came back for a 5-1 win.