Valley Maple Leafs start 2017 off in the win column

Brison's third period fight helped give the hometown team the momentum to win


Published on January 14, 2017

The Leafs' defenceman Patrick Duggan attempts to keep the puck away from the Colts' Nathan Sheppard during the third period. Sheppard had scored in the second period Jan. 13.

©Carole Morris-Underhill

WINDSOR, N.S. — After having nearly five weeks off due to the holidays and weather-related game postponements, the Valley Maple Leafs started 2017 off on the right foot.

The second place Leafs took on the third place Cole Harbour Colts Jan. 13 in Windsor and bested them in overtime.

Assistant coach Brett Fletcher said it was a solid win, especially since they've only practiced twice.

“We were short a couple guys and the boys played very well,” Fletcher said. “For the first game back in 2017, it was a good win.”

Forward Jonah Vidito looks up the ice to find an opening.

©Carole Morris-Underhill

The Colts' Jeffrey Withers, from Jacob Tibert, started the scoring off in the first period. Jonah Allen tied it up within two minutes.

The Colts scored to start off the second period, thanks to Nathan Sheppard, from Ben Kelly and Nickholas Buckborough. But the Leafs weren't going to let that lead stand. Captain Tyler Young scored on the power-play with 3:26 remaining to knot the score 2-2.

Hants County's Seth Brison, a veteran player with the Valley Maple Leafs, isn't afraid to hit hard during Junior B hockey action. Pictured here, about to be hit, is the Colts' Aaron Parks.

©Carole Morris-Underhill

Team captain Tyler Young may not have bested the Colts' goaltender Jonathan Prall on this play, but he persisted and by the end of the second period, tied the game 2-2 to force overtime.
Carole Morris-Underhill

The teams played a scoreless third. Near the midway point, the Leafs' Seth Brison and the Colts' Tibert threw down their gloves for a brief bout in front of Valley's bench.

Both Fletcher and fellow assistant coach Rob Lindsay said that helped to give the boys the momentum they needed.

“Game changer was Brison stepping up and fighting,” said Lindsay. “That was a key play by a veteran player.”

Both Tibert and Brison, who hails from Hants County, received a 10-minute game misconduct and five for fighting.

“We had the momentum, I felt, most of the game but it really took a swing there and really helped us get over the hump,” Fletcher said.

“We continued on with the momentum and the pressure into the end of the third and was able to finish off in the second shift of overtime,” he added.

Seth Brison and Jacob Tibert get ready to duke it out during the third period of action between the Leafs and the Colts Jan. 13.

©Carole Morris-Underhill

Drew Stonehouse clears the puck from behind the Leafs' net during a fast-paced game Jan. 13 in Windsor.
Carole Morris-Underhill

Wesley DeMone recorded the game winner just 59 seconds into the five-minute overtime.

Picking up assists on the evening were Young, Shayne Gillis, Jonah Vidito, Sean Anderson and Stuart Kennie.

Goaltender Chris Clokie faced 16 shots and collected the win for the Maple Leafs. The Colts' Jonathan Prall recorded the loss, stopping 26 of 29 shots on goal.

Upcoming games

The Leafs are scheduled to play six more games this month.

Being in the tight Fred Fox Division of the Nova Scotia Junior Hockey League, Fletcher said every point counts towards their end goal.

“There's only between two to five points spreading everybody from the bottom to the top. So, every game against someone in our division is extremely important,” said Fletcher.

Forward Jonah Allen wheels the puck up the ice during the first period of play Jan. 13.

©Carole Morris-Underhill

On Jan. 16, at the Sackville arena, they're taking on the division-leading Sackville Blazers for a 7:30 p.m. start.

On Jan. 19, they travel to the Don Henderson Memorial Sportsplex to battle the Brookfield Elks. The very next night, Jan. 20, the Leafs host the Elks at the Hants Exhibition Arena. Game time is 7:30 p.m. It's anticipated there will be a celebrity puck drop that night featuring at least one retired NHL player.

On Jan. 22, their county rivals, the East Hants Penguins, will visit Windsor for a 3:45 p.m. afternoon match up.

Their Highway 101 rivals, the Sackville Blazers, will be in Windsor Jan. 27 for what's sure to be a lively bout. Game time is 7:30 p.m.

The Leafs close out January with a road game to take on the Liverpool Privateers at 7:15 p.m.

The Colts' Joshua Rector was in hot pursuit of Jonah Vidito during the third period of play. Both teams were tied 2-2.

©Carole Morris-Underhill

Patrick Duggan lunges to intercept Bret Armstrong and Ben Kelly as the Colts try to bring the puck in front of the Leafs' net Jan. 13.

©Carole Morris-Underhill