The standings in the Fred Fox Division of the Nova Scotia Junior Hockey League were still too close to call at the close of play Jan. 19.
The tally showed Sackville Blazers first in the division with 36 points. The Valley Maple Leafs and East Hants Penguins were tied for second with 35, and Bay Ducks were alone in fourth with 34.
In action this past weekend, Valley edged Pictou County Scotians 3-2 Jan. 19 in Trenton. Sackville topped Eastern Shore 7-3 Jan. 18, and Bay Ducks and East Hants split, with the Penguins winning 4-3 Jan. 17 and the Ducks prevailing 3-2 Jan. 18.
In Trenton, David Hayes’ even-strength goal, his team-high 11th of the season, at 9:39 of the third period broke a 2-2 tie and stood up as the game-winner.
After a scoreless opening period, Mitchell Normore opened the scoring for Valley at 2:18 of the second. Brandon Parker made it 2-0 at 9:48.
In the third period, the Scotians struck for a pair of goals, the first by Lucas Eshelman at 1:54 and the second by Keenan Lima at 5:27, to tie the score.
Final shots on goal were 52-34 in favour of the Maple Leafs, who improved their season record to 17-8 with one shootout loss, good for their 35 points.
The Jan. 19 win was the fourth in as many games for the Leafs in 2014. On Jan. 14, Valley picked up a 5-4 win in Brookfield on Hayes’ goal with 3:41 left in overtime.
The Maple Leafs jumped out to a 3-0 lead after one period on goals from Parker, Mark Swain (on the power play) and Steven Brooker.
Brookfield replied with a pair of power play goals in the second period, one by Jake Bowers and the other by Mitchell Scott, to narrow the deficit to 3-2 after 40 minutes.
Jordan Mont tied the score at three at 6:38 of the third. Mitchell Singer’s power play goal gave Valley back the lead at 9:28, but Matthew Canning scored with 10 seconds left in regulation time to force overtime.
Since the start of the year, the Maple Leafs had also won 3-2 Jan. 6 in Sackville and edged Eastern Shore 4-3 Jan. 10 in a game played at Windsor,
As of Jan. 22, the Leafs had three regular season games remaining, all against teams within their own division. Valley was scheduled to play East Hants Friday, Jan. 24 in Windsor; Bay Ducks Wednesday, Jan. 29 in St. Margaret’s Bay; and host Sackville Friday, Jan. 31 in Windsor before moving on to the playoffs.