River Rats prepping for must-win Friday game to stay in playoffs

Dan Boyd
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In order to keep their playoff dreams alive, the Avon River Rats are facing a must-win situation this Friday, Feb. 7, at home against the Barrington Sea Star Ice Dogs.

A win by the Rats will force a fourth game in the Best of Five playoff series. However, a loss will end the Nova Scotia Junior C Hockey League’s season for the River Rats.

The hometown team dropped the opening two games of the playoff series by scores of 5-3 and 7-3.

The third playoff game will be in Windsor on Friday, Feb. 7, at 7:45 p.m. If they win, they host the Ice Dogs on Saturday, Feb. 8 at 7:15 p.m.


Game 2 recap

Matt Lyttle opened the game's scoring just 58 seconds in, Saturday, Feb. 2, and then assisted on Tyler Young's goal to knot the game at 2-2 with 2:44 left in the opening period. Barrington went up 3-2 with just 1:03 left to play in the first.

The Ice Dogs scored twice in the final five minutes of the second period to go up 5-2 before Lyttle, with his second goal of the game and third point, closed the gap to a pair of goals with 6:57 gone in the final period.

Barrington scored late once again, netting a pair in the final six minutes to win it 7-3. They outshot the River Rats 46-28. Goaltender Matt McGinn stopped 39 of 46 shots directed his way.


Game 1 recap

In Friday night's series opener in Barrington, the River Rats jumped in front early, this time 2-0 on goals by Stuart Whidden and Young.

The Ice Dogs tied the game at 2-2 before the conclusion of the first period with a pair of goals in the final six minutes.

The River Rats went back in front 3-2 only 39 seconds into the second, as Young, with help from Lyttle and Whidden, scored.

Despite outplaying the Ice Dogs based on the shots on goal — the River Rats held a commanding 54-27 advantage — their third goal was their final one of the game.

Barrington tied the game 3-3 before the second period concluded. Morgan d'Entremont scored twice for the Ice Dogs in the third, with the insurance fifth goal coming with just 1:02 remaining in the game as the River Rats valiantly tried to tie the game.

Organizations: Ice Dogs, Nova Scotia Junior C Hockey League, Barrington Sea Star Ice Dogs Avon River Rats

Geographic location: Windsor, Hants Exhibition Arena, Hants County

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