Valley Wildcats split weekend, trying to make it back into playoff contention
BERWICK, NS - It was a good weekend for the Valley junior A Wildcats, but they were hoping for better than simply good.
WINDSOR, N.S. - When it comes to exciting, heart-stopping junior hockey action, the Avon River Rats are delivering this season.
On Dec. 10 in Musquodoboit, the Avon River Rats squeezed out a 3-2 win over the Eastern Shore Thunder.
The teams played a scoreless first period before trading a pair of goals in the middle frame. Tyler Comeau, who is having a very effective rookie year with the Rats, scored two minutes into the second period to give them a 1-0 lead. After the Thunder tied it, Joel MacNeil scored for the River Rats to provide them with a 2-1 lead. With less than five minutes remaining in the second period, the Thunder tied it up.
The teams went back and forth the entire third period and with just a minute to play, Mitchell Urquhart scored to give the River Rats a 3-2 win.
The Rats dominated play, outshooting the Thunder 51-29.
The win for the River Rats marked their 15th of the season.
Metro 4, Rats 3
Falmouth’s Brett Wallace, who was the River Rats' leading goal scorer in 2015-16, is now playing for the Metro Jaguars. When the Jaguars came to Windsor Dec. 11, Wallace opened the scoring on the power-play. The score remained 1-0 until the second period, when, just 54 seconds in, Allister Avard tied it for the River Rats. Jacob McGuigan then scored a pair to give the Jaguars a 3-1 lead after 40 minutes.
The River Rats scored twice in the third to knot the game at 3-3. Goals came from Stuart Whidden and Devon Pennell, who scored with 35 seconds showing on the clock.
If that wasn’t heart-stopping enough for fans, the River Rats lost the game with four seconds showing on the clock as Tony Hart, from the Jaguars, beat the River Rats' goaltender Josh MacLeod for the game winner.
Metro outshot the River Rats 30-27.
The River Rats are heading into their final game prior to the Christmas break holding an eight point lead on the second place Spryfield Attrack, and a nine point lead over the Jaguars.
The River Rats will play the Cumberland-Colchester Colts at 7 p.m. Dec. 18 at the Hants Exhibition Arena in Windsor.
The Colts are presently locked in a fierce battle for the fourth and final playoff spot in the Nova Scotia Regional Junior Hockey League as the Colts and the Bedford Wolverines both have 12 points, three back of the fourth place Eastern Shore Thunder.