The Antigonish AA Munro Jr. Bulldogs are undefeated heading into the third weekend of the 21-22 Nova Scotia Junior Hockey League Season. They rallied for a pair of huge wins Friday, Oct 8 and Sunday Oct 10. The first came in Windsor Fri Oct 8 when doubled up the Valley Maple Leafs 6-3 after trailing 3-1. They then went home to Antigonish Sunday Oct 10 and rallied from a 2-0 deficit to take down the East Hants Penguins 7-5. We will take a look at the game in Windsor first:
In their 6-3 victory in Windsor versus the Maple Leafs, the Jr. Bulldogs did not get off to a great start as they allowed the Leafs to control the play in the opening minutes before the Valley’s Brady MacLean was sent off for hooking with 3 minutes elapsed in the first period. Antigonish was caught sleeping on a line-change when Tyler Boyd left early and allowed Maple Leaf Brayden Hunt sole position of the puck but it seemed to catch Hunt by so much surprise that he had the puck with no one around him, he ended up taking a weak shot on the Antigonish net. With 4:11 left in the opening period, Andrew McCarron struck on a quick shot which the Antigonish net minder might not have even seen. McCarron following the goal found himself in the penalty box 18 seconds later. Antigonish controlled the power-play opportunity they were given and with 2:52 left in the first period, the Bulldogs Fearghus MacDonald tied the game at 1-1 with a shot close in. The Bulldogs kept applying heavy pressure after their power-play goal until the Leafs just missed with 25 seconds remaining in the first as the puck went in the air and about to drop behind him until it was narrowly knocked away. The Bulldogs outshot the Leafs 15-8 in the opening period.
In the second period, with 3:35 having elapsed, Justin Banks of the Leafs capitalized after the Antigonish goalie came out of his net and completely misplayed the puck, allowing Banks to take it away from him and put into a wide-open net. Then with 6:26 gone in the second, Andrew McCarron made a terrific pass to Brady MacLean parked to the right of the Bulldogs net and it was 3-1 Leafs. It was the last scoring the Leafs would do in the game as the Bulldogs seemingly took control. The Bulldogs Ben MacLellan flipped a shot from the point with Leafs net minder Durnford being screened and it went over his left shoulder without anyone touching the puck. Just 42 seconds later Sam Grant tied the game at 3-3 before the Bulldogs went in front 4-3 on a weird goal by Tyler Cross which proved to be the game winner. With the Bulldogs applying heavy pressure, Cross from inside the dot of the face-off circle from a weak angle shot the puck and it somehow found the back of the Leafs net. The Leafs Andrew McCarron then took another penalty with 1:09 left in the second out of what appeared complete frustration and Antigonish led 4-3 after two periods and outshot the Leafs 17-12.
In the third period, it was all Bulldogs as they totally dominated the Leafs from scratch and played out a couple of solid hits including the one where Sam Grant of the Bulldogs hit Brayden Hunt of the Leafs and stretched him out on the blue-line. The Bulldogs were totally dominant in the opening ten minutes with the Maple Leafs even having trouble touching the puck for the majority of the time. With 8:30 to play, Darren Waterman made a sensational pass across to Jordan Etheridge who put it into a wide-open Leafs net to make it 5-3 Bulldogs. By this point, the Leafs had literally disappeared into the ice-surface. The Leafs tried playing with 6 men for the final 2:30 but nothing happened as Etheridge scored his second of the night ito an empty net with 1:14 to go. Fearghus MacDonald finished the game for the Bulldogs with a pair of assists to go along with his goal and MxcCarron despite his time in the penalty box also assisted on both Leaf goals to go along with his marker. Sam Mattie also collected 3 assists for the Jr. Bulldogs. Antigonish finished the game with a final advantage of 50-30 in shots.
Antigonish 7 East Hants 5
This game was controversial with both teams complaining severely about the officiating. The Penguins jumped in front 2-0 on goals from Devin meagre and Marshall Plandowski 2:10 apart as the opening period approached the mid-way mark. Then in a span of 1:17, the Jr. bulldogs knotted the game at 2-2 on a power-play goal from Fearghus MacDonald and another from Tyler Boyd. 50 seconds into the second period, Sam Grant scored on the power-play to put the Bulldogs in front 3-2 before Meagher scored his second of the game for the Pens to tie the game at 3-3 again. The Bulldogs went back in front 4-3 on Ethan Twolan’s marker and that was the score after forty minutes. The Jr. Bulldogs went up 6-3 in the third on power-play markers from Luke Baldwin before the period was even a minute old and 1:42 later Fearghus MacDonald scored again for the Bulldogs on the power-play to make it 6-3. The Penguins were not finished as Riley MacDonell short-handed and Noah Latimer on the power-play connected for the Pens and it was a one goal game again before Sam mattie scored into an empty net with 2 seconds left in regulation to give the Bulldogs a 7-5 win. MacDonald finished the night with 6 points for Antigonish and Antigonish outshot the Penguins 41-33.