Valley Maple Leafs find themselves in a must-win playoff game Friday

Carole Morris-Underhill
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Published on March 05, 2014

Goalie Mitch Culley gives the Penguins' affiliated player Nolan Martin a shove after he got a little too close to the net during playoff action March 4.

Published on March 05, 2014

Assistant captain Luke Short gains control of the puck and looks to pass up the ice to teammates.

Published on March 05, 2014

Jeff Longaphy, right, tries to prevent Jonathan Biron from keeping possession of the puck March 4. The East Hants Penguins defeated the Leafs 4-1 in the playoff game.

Published on March 05, 2014

Goalie Mitch Culley watches as the Leafs take the the action to the other end.

Published on March 05, 2014

Defenseman Kyle Kavanagh hunts down an East Hants Penguin March 4.

Published on March 05, 2014

Connor Currie, of the East Hants Penguins, scored on this play, tying Game 5 between the Valley Maple Leafs and East Hants Penguins. The Pens went on to win the game 4-1.

Published on March 05, 2014

Team captain Craig Anderson looks to pass the puck up the ice as East Hants Penguin Mark Collins attempts to steal it.

Published on March 05, 2014

Not many penalties were called during the March 4 playoff game between the East Hants Penguins and the Valley Maple Leafs. Pictured here having a differing of opinion are Brandon Parker and Matthew Shackell.

Published on March 05, 2014

Luke Short defends the crease while East Hants Penguins' captain Marc Thibodeau tries to maintain his spot in front of the net. In goal for the March 4 game for the Leafs was Mitch Culley.

Published on March 05, 2014

The Leafs fired 45 shots on the East Hants net, but only managed to sneak one past netminder Jason Ellis March 4.

Published on March 05, 2014

Brandon Parker hustles the puck up the ice March 4. The Leafs took 45 shots on the East Hants net, but only managed to sneak one past netminder Jason Ellis.

Published on March 05, 2014

Security guards and Jr. B hockey officials work together to replace a pane of glass after it popped out during the game March 4 between the East Hants Penguins and Valley Maple Leafs.

Published on March 05, 2014

Colin Gillis was at the ready March 4. He made several attempts on net, but couldn't best Penguins goaltender Jason Ellis. Also pictured for the Pens is Michael McGahey.

Published on March 05, 2014

Assistant captain Jeff Longaphy holds his ground while the Penguins' Matthew Shackell tries to keep the crease clear. Pictured in nets is Jason Ellis. The Penguins went on to win the March 4 game 4-1. Longaphy was the lone goal scorer for the Leafs.

Published on March 05, 2014

Brandon Parker, with the Leafs, and James Shapeligh, with the Penguins, face off in the third period March 4.

Published on March 05, 2014

Mitch Culley deflects the puck in the dying minutes of the third period after Connie Currie fired off a close shot. Currie was the first Penguin to score in the 4-1 win over the Leafs March 4.

The Valley Maple Leafs find themselves in a must-win situation Friday night against their Hants County rivals if they hope to keep their playoff dreams alive.

On Tuesday, March 4, the East Hants Penguins came to Windsor with one thing on their mind: winning. And the scrappy team did just that, winning Game 5 by a score of 4-1.

The Penguins lead the best of seven Jr. B hockey series 3-2.

The Tuesday night game, which attracted several hundred fans to the Hants Exhibition Arena, saw the two teams tied 1-1 after the first.

Assistant captain Jeff Longaphy, from Greg Brown and Joe MacDougall, scored for the Leafs about five minutes into the game. Within two minutes, the Penguins' Connor Currie, from Paul Rakei and Brandon Leonardo, on the power-play, tied things up.

The Penguins then tallied their second and third goals in the second period. Nolan Martin, from Currie, scored on the power-play and the Penguins' captain Marc Thibodeau, from Cody Anthony and James Shapeligh, scored with 5:45 remaining in the period to give the Pens a 3-1 lead.

Although the Leafs circled the Pens net and outshot the East Hants team, they couldn't get another puck past Jason Ellis.

The Penguins' Leonardo scored unassisted in the third, with 2:41 remaining, to seal the deal.

Following the game, Leafs head coach Josh Dill said the Penguins have stepped up their game.

“They got a couple power-play goals but all in all, I think they're playing real good hockey,” said Dill.

He noted that the Leafs didn't get the bounces they needed to secure the win, and will be looking to change that when they play in Lantz on Friday night.

“We've got to get back to basics and put the puck on net and sneak one past their goaltender,” said Dill. “The puck is going in for them and not for us. Hopefully we can get a break.”

The Leafs outshot the Pens 45 to 30.

The Leafs will take on the Penguins at 7:30 p.m. at the East Hants Sportsplex March 7.

“Hopefully we can sneak a win out and fill the barn Sunday night,” said Dill, alluding to forcing Game 7 in the Fred Fox Division quarterfinal playoff series.

Be sure to check the Hants Journal on Saturday to see how Game 6 unfolded.

 

Organizations: Fred Fox Division, Hants Journal, East Hants Penguins Nova Scotia Junior Hockey League Valley Maple Leafs

Geographic location: Hants County, Windsor, Lantz Hants Exhibition Arena West Hants East Hants Nova Scotia

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