TRURO – The Truro Bearcats christened their new arena Saturday with a victory.
The Bearcats (35-9-0-5) nipped the Metro Shipbuilders (4-45-1-1) 4-3 in front of 2,800 standing-room only fans in the first-ever game at the Rath EastLink Community Centre (RECC). Ryan Moore’s first goal of the season was the winner.
“It feels great,” Moore said. “Travis (Moore) made a nice pass and I just shot it and it went in. I didn’t expect it to go in, I was just trying to get it on net and it found a way in.”
The result kept the Bearcats a point ahead of the Yarmouth Mariners (35-10-2-2) for top spot in the EastLink Division. The two sides lock horns Sunday at 7 p.m. at RECC after Truro throttled Yarmouth 6-1 Friday at Mariners Centre to take over first place.
The Bearcats have just two games remaining in the regular season following Sunday’s tilt.
For a while, it looked as if the lowly Shipbuilders were going to spoil the party.
Mike Molloy opened the scoring with a powerplay goal at 13:04 of the opening frame, which saw the Bearcats get outshot 14-9, before Grant West knotted the score with a man-advantage tally of his own at 14:49 of the second period.
But before the goal could be announced the Shipbuilders restored their lead thanks to Brandon Boutilier’s effort just 15 seconds later. Boutilier struck again at 17:51 give Metro a 3-1 cushion.
The Bearcats seemingly couldn’t buy a goal as quality scoring chances were thwarted by pucks bouncing over sticks, hit goal posts, deflections and blocked shots.
“But we just stuck with it and kept going and found a way to win,” Moore said. “We just did what we could.”
Eventually the Bearcats found their touch.
Colby Lanceleve pulled one back for Truro at 18:17 of the second. Then the Bearcats dominated the third, peppering Metro goaltender Jeff Arkin with 29 shots, while allowing the Shipbuilders just five. West netted his second of the night leaving the stage for Moore’s winner.
Jacob Fancy made 23 saves for the victory while Arkin kicked out 47 attempts.
“We’ve been waiting a while for this,” Moore said. “It was great to see a lot of people out because we don’t ususally play in front of that many people. But the game’s a lot more fun when there’s 2,500-plus people there. It kept us going knowing they were behind us.”