River Rats eliminated from Jr. C hockey playoffs

Dan Boyd
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Junior C hockey fans witnessed some stellar hockeyon the weekend as the Avon River Rats and Barrington Sea Star Ice Dogs wrapped up their Best of Five playoff series in Windsor.

The River Rats forced Game 4 in the series after displaying a "take no hostages" style of play Friday evening, Feb. 7, at the Hants Exhibition Arena.

The Avon River Rats took period leads of 3-1 and 5-1 over the Ice Dogs, before finishing them off by an 8-3 count.

With their backs to the wall, the River Rats were hungry from the start. Tyler Young had a huge evening and played strong as he has all season, scoring twice and adding three assists for a five-point night.

Both Shayne Gillis and Falmouth’s Ben Nelson recorded two goals and two assists in the victory. Rounding out the scoring was Tom Malone, with two goals of his own.

Matthew Lyttle, who demonstrated a strong presence on the blue line in the playoff series, recorded three assists.

Others providing assists were Matt Lahey, with two, and Nick Rafuse and Jake Hopewell with one each.

The Ice Dogs were determined to win the Best-of-Five series on Saturday evening, Feb. 8, as the River Rats hoped to force a fifth and final game.

It took overtime before Barrington pulled out a 5-4 victory to advance to the Nova Scotia Junior C Hockey League’s semi-finals and prevent the Avon River Rats from playing any additional hockey in the 2013-14 season.

The teams were scoreless after the first period of play on Saturday. Avon held a 2-1 advantage after 40 minutes.

The teams exploded for five goals in the final period, which was a seesaw battle as after the Ice Dogs went up 3-2, the Rats rallied to score twice and take a 4-3 lead. That lead lasted 11 seconds.

In the first sudden-death 10-minute overtime, it took the Ice Dogs a little less than three minutes to score and clinch the series three games to one.

Young scored twice for the River Rats in their final playoff game while also adding one assist. Stuart Whidden and Matt Page rounded out the scoring for the hometown team.

Hopewell, Nelson and Gillis all recorded two assists, and team captain Dave Phillips had one.

 

Upcoming fundraisers

The team has a number of fundraising initiatives planned for the off-season. They’re hoping to come back stronger than ever in 2014-15.

The jackpot for the Avon River Rats television bingo, which is Thursday night, Feb. 13, at 6 p.m. on Eastlink Channel 10, is valued at $5,000. They also have a dance scheduled for the Brooklyn Fire Hall on Saturday evening, Feb. 15, at 9 p.m. Music will be provided by the Good Feelin’ Band.  Tickets are $10 and are available at the door.

Organizations: Ice Dogs, Nova Scotia Junior C Hockey League

Geographic location: Windsor

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