Weekend split for Valley Wildcats as first half of season wraps up

Published on December 20, 2016

Grant Janes, a Kings County native, goes for the puck at the Summerside goal Dec. 18 in Berwick.

©Gary Manning

BERWICK, NS - If the Valley Junior A Wildcats could wish for one thing in 2017, it might be for more games against the Summerside Western Capitals.

Valley swept the season series versus the Capitals with a 5 – 3 victory Dec. 18 in Berwick. It was the third and final meeting of the Maritime Hockey League season between the two clubs, and followed a pair of 3 – 2 wins for the Wildcats against the PEI team in November.

Goaltender Greg Maggio was named the game's first star, making 44 saves for the win. Nic Blanchard and Lukas Kane each had two goals in the win, with the game winner and an empty net goal to put the game out of reach, coming off the stick of Kane.

Ilya Putintsev also added a goal and an assist for Valley in the win.

The win was a bounce back for the Wildcats, who had fallen 5 – 1 the previous night in Truro against the Bearcats. Grant Janes had the lone goal in the Dec. 17 defeat.

Nic Blanchard scores a goal Dec. 18 in the 5-3 Wildcats win against Summerside. Blanchard had two goals in Valley’s winning effort.

©Gary Manning

Kane, who was all smiles after netting his first two goals of the season, says it feels good to win all three encounters with Summerside this season, and he's hopeful the team can build on it.

“We gotta work together as a team, support each other and hopefully keep scoring goals to win.”

Assistant coach Andre Lefebvre praised the team's effort Dec. 18, giving the fans a home ice win just before Christmas.

“Last night, we kind of spun our wheels in Truro. It was nice to see the boys come out and get the effort that we were looking for and get the result.”

The Dec. 18 win pulled the Junior A Wildcats level on points with the South Shore Lumberjacks for fifth place in the Eastlink South Division.

Valley returns from the holiday break Jan. 5 in New Glasgow against the league leading Pictou County Weeks Crushers. The Wildcats first home game of 2017 is Jan. 8 at the Kings Mutual Century Centre in Berwick versus the County Aces.