By Tina Comeau
The Yarmouth Mainers ended their regular season with a 5-3 win over the Pictou Weeks Crushers in front of around 1,500 fans at the Mariners Centre on Friday, March 8.
The Mariners end their regular season in second place in the Eastlink Division with 79 points – two points behind the Truro Bearcats who finished in first. The Mariners regular season regulation record is 37 wins and 10 losses, compared to Truro’s 38 wins and 9 losses. Truro also played its last game of the regular season Friday, defeating Woodstock 7-2.
This means the Mariners will face the Amherst Ramblers in a best-of-seven game playoff series, that will begin at the Mariners Centre on Saturday, March 16. Playoff tickets for the first two Mariners home games of the series go on sale Tuesday for all customers. Season ticket holders have until noon on gamedays to purchase their tickets. If they haven't purchased their tickets by then, those seats will go on sale to the general public.
Amherst ended its regular season with 70 points and a record of 32 wins and 14 losses in regulation.
In their final game of the season the Mariners jumped out to an early lead, scoring twice in the first period with two power play goals from Kyle Campbell (Jared Hicks, Cody Castro) and Zack Henry (Castro, Josh Desmond).
In the second period the only scoring belonged to Pictou, which knotted the score 2-2 with goals by Cody Squires and Nick Parker.
Pictou went ahead 3-2 in the third period with a goal by Mitchell Deruelle. From there on all of the scoring came from the Mariners with a goal from Brandon Bussey (Hicks, Jon Johannesson) and two more goals scored on the power play – the first of these goals, and his second power play goal of the game, came from Kyle Campbell (Bussey, Rodney Mahoney) and the other was from Braden Mercier (Colin Campbell, Josh Desmond.)
Mariners goalie Travis Wilkins stopped 31 or 34 shots in the win, while Crushers goalie Brandon Thibeau stopped 35 of 40 shots in the loss.
Yarmouth went 4 for 7 on the powerplay while Pictou County went 1 for 4.
Kyle Campbell was named first star with Brandon Bussey named second star. Nick Parker of Pictou was third star.
Playoff tickets for the first two Mariners home games of the series go on sale Tuesday for all customers. Season ticket holders have until noon on gamedays to purchase their tickets. If they haven't purchased their tickets by then, those seats will go on sale to the general public. -
It was announced during the game that this season the Mariners had broken both franchise and league records in terms of their attendance.
The Truro Bearcats, meanwhile – the host of this year’s Fred Page Cup – will play the winner of a best-of-three game mini series between Pictou and the Bridgewater Lumberjacks.
In the Meek Division the Summerside Western Capitals, who are hosting the RBC Cup, finished in first place with 88 points and a record of 43 wins and seven losses. In second place was last year’s league champs the Woodstock Slammers who had 64 points and a record of 29 wins and 17 losses.
Summerside will play Miramichi in the first round of playoffs while Woodstock will play Dieppe.
The end of the regular season in the MHL also means an end to the seasons of the Metro Shipbuilders and the Campbellton Tigers, which both failed to secure a spot in the playoffs.