Bearcats roll over Wildcats for 3-0 series lead

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TRURO – The Truro Bearcats took a firm grip on their Maritime Junior Hockey League Eastlink Division semifinal series on Thursday.

The Bearcats overcame a slow start and scored seven times in the final 40 minutes for a 7-3 triumph over the visiting Valley Wildcats.

Truro leads the best-of-seven series 3-0 and can dust off Valley on Saturday with a win in Game 4 at the Kentville Centennial Arena. Game time is 7:30 p.m.

Jordan McNaughton scored two goals on Thursday to lead the Bearcats in front of a scant crowd of 705 at the Rath Eastlink Community Centre.

“We definitely were slow in the first, but we stuck with it, came out in the second and got a couple of early ones and buried them after that,” said McNaughton, who beat Wildcats goalie Blade Mann-Dixon with two laser wristers in the second period to the top shelf – one from left side and the other from the right.

The Bearcats have been a far better team against a young Wildcats squad and have outscored their opponents 14-4 in two playoff games at the RECC and 19-6 overall in the series.

“They’re a really hard-working team, so once we start working as hard as them our skill starts to take over and they start going in the back of the net,” said McNaughton.

The Wildcats led 1-0 after the first period, but Truro took control in the second and led 4-2 after 40 minutes.

“They definitely came out hungry,” said Bearcats forward Daniel Perigo. “They were first on pucks, and they were winning the battles, so we didn’t come out the way we wanted to and they put us on our heels.

“We weren’t playing to our potential, but we found a way in the second period.”

Brandon Pye, Perigo, Kyle Tibbo, Jordan Wentzell and Tyler Morrison, into an empty net, scored for the Bearcats. Pye’s goal came on the power play, while Perigo scored shorthanded.

Brady Atwater, Josh Worthen, on a power play, and John Deacon replied for the Wildcats, who have lost 11 straight games to the Bearcats this season.

“They’re battling, they’re a good team,” Atwater said of the Bearcats. “Basically, you make any mistakes and they’re going to capitalize – they’re that sort of team, they’ve got a lot of talent up front.”

The Bearcats don’t expect to have an easy time on Saturday putting the Wildcats away.

“I think we got to know that they’re gonna be coming in front of their home fans and we just got to come out harder in the first and carry it through and play a full 60,” McNaughton said.





Organizations: Maritime Junior Hockey League Eastlink Division, Rath Eastlink Community Centre, Daily News

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