By John DeCoste
The Kings Mutual bantam Wildcats ended up with a pair of losses and a pair of ties at the Bantam AAA provincials in North Sydney.
The Wildcats, who advanced to the provincials as a wildcard team, played twice Thursday, Mar. 7, with both games ending in ties, 3-3 against ACCEL Hawks and 2-2 against Bubba Rays Gulls.
Kings Mutual then played twice Friday, Mar. 8, losing 8-3 to Western Hurricanes and 6-2 to Breton Sport Cougars.
Against ACCEL Hawks, after a scoreless opening period, Barrett Dachyshyn opened the scoring for the Hawks with the only goal of the second period.
The third period then saw five goals scored. Goals by Cody Burghardt, Dylan Riley and Josh MacMillan gave the Wildcats a 3-1 lead, only to see ACCEL come back on goals by Gaetan Tremblay and Luke Spicer to tie the score.
Against Bubba Rays, Gregor MacLeod opened the scoring for the Wildcats in the first period, and the score remained 1-0 until the third period when Dylan Taylor made it 2-0.
Again, the Wildcats couldn't hold the lead, as a pair of goals by Jacob Hickey, the second on a Gulls' power play, allowed Bubba Rays to tie the score.
In their third game against Western Hurricanes, Kings Mutual fell behind 3-0 after one period and trailed 6-1 after two. Christopher Goreham led the Hurricanes with a pair of power play goals, while Jered Scott also scored twice. Burghardt had two goals and MacLeod one to account for the Wildcats' scoring.
In Kings Mutual's final round robin game against Breton, the score was tied 2-2 after one period, with Mitchell Balmas and Daniel Reid scoring for the Cougars and Burghardt tallying twice for the Wildcats, one of them on a power play.
Goals by Daniel Morley and Reid (his second of the game) staked Breton to a 4-2 lead after two periods. In the third period, Reid finished off his hat trick and Balmas added his second of the game to round out the scoring.
Burghardt had a solid tournament, scoring five times in his team's four games, while Drake Batherson ended up with four assists.
Kings Mutual had a 12-11-8 regular season record during 2012-2013, ended up 1-2 in the opening playoff round and 0-2-2 at provincials for a 13-15-10 record overall. The Wildcats scored 133 goals in their 38 games this season and allowed 152.