League News


Bulldogs draw opening blood

In an absolutely outstanding hockey game Saturday evening in Antigonish, the Jr. Bulldogs before a home audience of 600 plus, drew first blood in the Nova Scotia Junior Hockey League Championship Series defeating the South Shore Lumberjacks 5-2.  Game 2 goes Easter Sunday afternoon at 3:00 p.m. in Antigonish.

Both teams went end to end the entire evening and skated furiously but it was the Bulldogs who essentially controlled play for the game’s opening 16 minutes.  The Lumberjacks who had their eight-game playoff winning streak snapped, tried again and again in those 16 minutes but were checked fiercely by the Bulldogs.  It was not until the final four minutes of the opening frame when South Shore finally started to evade some of the tight checking by the Bulldogs.
Antigonish’s Zachary Lorette scored the game’s first goal on a shot from five feet in front of Keegan Greencorn in the Lumberjacks net, as South Shore seemed to fall asleep for a split second.  The Bulldogs second goal came on a beautiful 2 on 1 passing play as Daniel Chaisson fed it to Lorette who fired a hard shot into the upper left side of the South South Shore net, with Greencorn seemingly keeping a sharper eye on Chaisson coming in on his right.
The Lumberjacks who were outshot 14-8 in the first, had their first true scoring opportunity when Brennan Coleman had the puck driving to the Antigonish net but Raymond McKinnon foiled Coleman with a great poke-check not allowing Coleman to get much of a shot off.  Daniel Kline had the only other potential chance for the Lumberjacks as he was driving to the net only to see the puck tip off his stick on a pass.
A swarm of players then formed in front of the Antigonish net and the game’s first power-play resulted despite the fact a player from each team went to the penalty box.  The power play came when Lorette received a double minor for spearing while Daniel Kline drew a slashing penalty with 3:29 to play in the opening period.
The Lumberjacks began to show considerable life on the power-play and with only three seconds remaining in the power-play and 1:31 to play in the first, Joe Osborne took a seemingly meek shot from the blue line that eluded Adam Tkacz in the Bulldogs net, who was seemingly blocked from seeing the puck with players parked all around him.
In the second period, both clubs picked up where they left-off in the first with end to end hockey, hard skating and the Lumberjacks picking up where they left off in the final 4 minutes of the first.  Scoring chances were not as great in the second with a few scattered ones until Owen Juurlink scored to make it 3-1 Antigonish on a shot from the point in which Greencorn was screened miserably on.  The Bulldogs outshot the Lumberjacks 9-8 in the second for a two-period advantage of 23-16.
In the third, the Lumberjacks pressed early and hard with Brandon Rideout being robbed blind by Tkacz directly in front of the Antigonish net.  As the Bulldogs were about to be assessed a penalty with six minutes having elapsed in the third, Liam Sylvester brought the Lumberjacks back to within a goal on a shot from the point with 14 minutes left in regulation.
Venel Campbell who played a sensational game for Antigonish and appeared to be on the ice at least half-the-game went in 2 on 1 with Ethan Toolan but Greencorn with the save kept the score at 3-2.  With Antigonish about to go on the penalty kill with 10:07 remaining with Tully Grant drawing an interference penalty, Daniel Kline drew a charging penalty killing the Lumberjacks about to be power-play.  With 6:36 to play in regulation, Ethan Twolan snapped a shot beating Greencorn and the Bulldogs were up by a pair 4-2.  Logan McGrath of the Bulldogs then put one into an empty net with 1:19 left, making the final score 5-2.
Despite the two late Bulldog goals, the South Shore still outshot Antigonish 15-8 in the third leaving the teams tied at 31 in shots against each other for the game.
Game 2 goes Sunday afternoon in Antigonish at 3:00 p.m. before the series shifts to Bridgewater for Games 3 and 4 next Friday evening and Saturday afternoon.
Mar 31, 2024