Six-point weekend puts Eagles on top of Minor Midget league
-by Bill Dunphy
Strait-Richmond's Liam Bolger scrambles for the tying goal in the dying seconds of Sunday's Minor Midget AA game but Cape Breton West netminder Jesse MacLean blocked him off to preserve the 2-1 win in Inverness.
The Cape Breton West Minor Midgets capped off a six-point weekend with a 2-1 win over the Strait-Richmond Pirates to move into first place in the Cape Breton Midget AA Hockey League.
“It’s coming down to crunch time, and we wanted first place,” said Screaming Eagles assistant coach Rory MacEachern.
“They have a strong team, and we wanted to come out and have a strong game. Both teams came out physical, but we weren’t generating good chances,” he said.
The Eagles were up 1-0 on a first-period powerplay goal by Keegan Marcott after Pirates goaltender Bryce Knott made a kick save on a hard shot by Brett Walker, only to have the rebound go to Marcott.
Eagles goaltender Jesse MacLean was stellar as Cape Breton West often struggled to clear their zone. But a bad clearing shot with just seven seconds left in the second period set up the Strait’s Ben Hillier for the tying goal.
“We talked it over in the dressing room, pointing out that we were getting caught trying to carry the puck and make a hard play to get it out of our zone. We just told them to make it easier, chip the puck off the glass, do the simple things.”
The coaching advice paid off, and Cape Breton West scored early to take the lead, then shut the Pirates down for the 2-1 win.
Dakota Bernard scored the winner at 2:49, completing a nice passing play with Marcott and Sean Austen.
On Saturday in Port Hood, the Eagles doubled the Antigonish Bulldogs 4-2 and then edged the Sydney Steelers in back-to-back games.
“In the Antigonish game we were perfect; we went out and hit them, chipped the puck and made easy passes. They didn’t want to play us at the end of it,” said MacEachern. “Our second and third lines are playing great for us, which really puts the pressure on the opposition.”
Connor Jordan scored a hat trick in the win against Antigonish. Eric Buckles scored the single while Dakota Bernard chipped in with three assists.
In the 5-4 win over Sydney, it was Bernard’s third goal of the game, scored in the second period, that proved to be the winner.
Marcott and Walker each had a goal and an assist. Nicholas McNamara was the winner in the Cape Breton West goal.
The Eagles are scheduled to play the Pirates again this Sunday, though the time and location had yet to be announced.
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