Colts clinch 1st in Fox
The Final Friday Night of the 2022-23 Nova Scotia Junior Hockey League Regular Season saw the Capstone Colts clinch 1st place in the Fred Fox Division and the Sackville Blazers nail down the final playoff spot in the Fox with a win over the Valley Maple Leafs. The following is a rundown of games:
Capstone Colts 7 East Hants Penguins 6
The Penguins went into this game with hopes of still catching the Colts and finishing first in the Fred Fox Division but the Colts had a big say as they roared out to a 6-0 lead before hanging on for a wild 7-6 win and clinching first place on Penguins home ice. Riley Henman, Liam Andrews with a pair and Cooper Puma provided the Colts with what appeared to be an inevitable 4-0 lead after twenty minutes. In the opening stages of the second, Tyler Puma scored a pair before the period was four minutes old and the Colts were in front 6-0 before the Penguins launched their mammoth comeback as Blake Irvine, Brody Fraser, Devin Meagher and Logan Colter with a pair of goals, one a short-handed to pull the Penguins to within a goal at 6-5 Colts after two periods. East Hants then tied it 6-6 on Ryan Langlois’s goal before Cole Good scored the Colts seventh marker of the game to give his club their 7-6 and 23rd win of the season and moved them four points ahead of the Penguins with each team having only one game to play to finish the regular season on Saturday. On the afternoon, Tyler Puma scored twice and added a pair of assists for the Colts while Copper Puma scored once and dded 3 assists to pace the Colts to their victory. Liam Andrews also scored a pair for the Colts. who are now 23-5-1 heading into their final regular season game in Liverpool Saturday night.
Sackville 3 Valley 1
The Sackville Blazers were certainly not the team who defeated the Colts at home Monday night 4-1 as they showed up in Windsor trying to clinch the fourth and final playoff spot in the Fox with a win over the Leafs. The Blazers with three second period goals and the Maple Leafs with 1 was all the scoring in the game as Sackville who looked so polished on Monday struggled at times against the Maple Leafs while outshooting the Maple Leafs 39-33. In the opening minute of the game, the Leafs tenacious forward Brady Maclean swooped in close on Blazers net minder Bryson Uberoi and with MacLean on his knees but he failed to score on Uberoi despite having a good opportunity. The Blazers allowed the Leafs to out play them for almost the first period with the Leafs holding an 18-7 shots advantage with 6:35 to play in the opening frame before the Blazers started to slowly turn things around. Carter Graves had another excellent opportunity form the Leafs but from when 6:35 remained, the Blazers piked up the pace and outshot the Leafs 5-0 for the duration of the first period. In the second, Degen Noble was a factor for the Blazers as he assisted Justin Hardie with the Blazers opening goal as Hardie let a wrist shot go from 15 feet-out . Moments later the Blazers Degen Noble let a shot go from the blue line that somehow seemed to elude Bilodeau in the Leafs net and it went in high to the right side off of Bilodeau. Noble kept driving the duration of the game and did everything he could to net another marker but it was Ethan Black who connected for the Blazers to make it 3-0. On the power-play while down 3-0, the Leafs dominated for two minutes but simply could not connect. The Leafs Ben McCarthy was then seemingly in a bad position as he was almost up against the boards when he let a shot go that somehow beat Uberoi to reduce the Blazers lead to 3-1. Sackville outshot the Leafs 17-11 in the middle period to give both teams 29 shots after forty minutes.
In the third period, McCarthy of the Leafs had a great rush down the right side and split the Blazers defence but ended up letting a shot go just missing the right hand corner of the Blazers net as the shot went off the glove of Uberoi. The Leafs had another great rush from Nick Oickle but he was pushed off the puck in the right-hand corner at the last minute. Tarran Baillie had a nice wrist shot to the right hand corner but Uberoi made a nice glove save. Leafs pulled their goalie in the final minute and the Blazers run gone off the goal post. Carter Graves had the Least final good chance with 22 seconds remaining in regulation. Sackville ended up outshooting the Ley 39-32.
Antigonish 7 Port Hawkesbury 3
The Jr. Bulldogs won their 25th game in 29 starts with their 7-3 win. The Jr. Bulldogs led 4-3 after twenty minutes on goals from Owen Flemming who also added a pair of assists, Will Fitzsimmons and Connor Doherty who both scored their first of two goals and Will Mierau who also collected a pair of of assists. For the Strait Pirates it was Matthew Raike, Cadyn Power and Dave Matthews. The Bulldogs completed the game’s coring with three goals in the third from Luke Baldwin, Fitzsimmons and Doherty who both scored their 2nd goal and both added an assist as well. The Strait Pirates now take their 13-14-2 record into Trenton Sunday night for their final regular season game of the season against the Scotians.
Eskasoni 9 Cumberland 4
The Blues kept this game close through forty minutes but like so many times this season, could not come up with 60 complete minutes of hockey and fell to the Jr. Eagles 9-4. The Eagles led 2-1 and 5-3 respectively after 20 and 40 minutes but the final was 9-4 Eagles. Sonny Kabatay was his engine revving self when it came to goals in this game as he scored six times and added an assist while Marcellus Francis score twice and added a pair of assists. Jacob Denny added the other Jr. Eagles goal and collected a pair of assists while Dante Basque added 3 assists. For the Blues, it was Callum Mccllelan with a pair and singles to Noah Sutherland and Burke Beed who go into their final regular season game of 22-23 with Antigonish on Sunday evening with a 2-26-1 record. As for Kabatay he now has 42 goals and 47 assists for 89 points on the season.