League News


A 7th and Deciding Game in Bridgewater

The South Shore Lumberjacks are on the brink of rallying from a 3-0 deficit in their Nova Scotia Junior Hockey League Playoff series with the East Hants Penguins.  If the Lumberjacks are able to win the seventh and deciding game in Bridgewater Tuesday evening, they would be come the first team in nearly twenty-five years in the NSJHL playoffs to win a series after rallying from a 3-0 deficit.  The last team to do so were the 2000-01 Windsor Royals who rallied from a 3-0 deficit to defeat the Port Hawkesbury Strait Pirates and from their moved on to win the Atlantic Junior Hockey Championship.  
The Lumberjacks forced a 7th and deciding game in Bridgewater Tuesday evening at 7:30 after earning a hard-fought 4-1 win over the East Hants Penguins Monday night in Lantz.  The game despite being a three-goal difference was a close game throughout with the exception of three East Hants miscues which cost them dearly.
In the opening period for example, the Pens were pushing hard and missed on two rebounds while outshooting the Lumberjacks 7-1.  The period continued with both teams playing wide open, seemingly not afraid to make a mistake.  For example,  the Lumberjacks A.J. Metlej took a sensational pass but failed to connect.  The Lumberjacks kept pressing hard until the middle of the first period.  However, East Hants took a 1-0 lead when a shot rebounded off the boards and Noah Comeau, without this writer knowing his plus/minus on the game but who played an outstanding game for the Pens, took a rebound off the boards and beat Keegan Greencorn to the middle of the net on his right side.    The goal gave East Hants a 1-0 lead with 5:42 to play in the first.  Then with 1:25 left, the Penguins did not check hard enough and allowed Joe Osborne of the Privateers to split the East Hants defence and put one into the left side of the East Hants net.  Other scoring opportunities in the first included the Lumberjacks Alec Howie missing an incredible opportunity from the right face-off circle and Daniel LeBlanc taking a bullet wrist shot only to see Pens goalie Marcus Pettipas put his blocker up in time to send the puck sailing over the net.  The Penguins held a 14-13 shot advantage after twenty minutes and this was after they were up 7-1 in shots including 4-1 on their first power-play.
In the second period, Osborne was then left alone directly in front of the Pens net and placed a perfect shot from 15 feet out to score what proved to be the game winning goal.  Morgan Lake and Logan Durno both missed great chances as Lumberjacks goalie Keegan Greencorn was extra sharp on both scoring attempts.  Brandon Rideout missed putting the visitors up 3-1 when he missed in close.
Another incident not often seen, happened with 10:36 to play in the middle period when the Penguins were called for icing the puck.  Loud protests from the crowd and the East Hants bench resulted in the officials conferring at centre ice and ruled no icing with the face-off coming back to centre ice.  With only 53 seconds left in the middle frame, Pettipas made two initial saves for the Pens but could not control a rebound which Alec Howie pounced on and made it 3-1 South Shore.  Nolan Greenlaw for the Lumberjacks was in a race against time as he had a clear break-away with time expiring but despite getting a shot off, the buzzer sounded before the puck reached Pettipas.  The teams were tied 10-10 in shots in the second with the Pens holding a 24-23 advantage through two periods.
The third period did not start off well for the Pens as Brody Fraser took a slashing penalty before the period was a minute old. East Hants killed that off but shortly after Daniel Kline from inside the Pens blue-line took a wrist shot that somehow eluded Pettipas high to his left side and the South Shore led 4-1.  The teams continued to skate hard but scoring chances diminished somewhat after Kline’s goal and the Lumberjacks won it 4-1.  The Pens outshot the South Shore 9-7 in the final period but Greencorn turned away every shot.  Elsewhere Monday night:
Antigonish   4      Pictou    1
The Jr. Bulldogs are attempting to win their third consecutive NS Provincial Junior Championship as they eliminated the Scotians in five games with a 4-1 win in Antigonish.  The Bulldogs will now play Membertou in the Sid Rowe Divisional Final.  Venel Campbell and Ray McKinnon scored first period goals for the home team before Jack Tompkins brought the Scotians back to within a goal after forty minutes.  However in the third, the Scotians could not keep it going as Zachary Lorette and Luc Sampson tallied and the Bulldogs won the series 4-1 and the game 4-1.  The Bulldogs outshot the Scotians 29-23.
The Opening two games between the Jr. Miners and Membertou will take place this weekend with Game 1 in Antigonish Friday at 7:30 p.m. and Game 2 back at the Membertou Sport and Wellness Centre Saturday evening at 7:30 p.m.
Mar 12, 2024