Bearcats jump out to 2-0 series lead after edging Mariners

Published on March 19, 2017

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TINA COMEAU-TC MEDIA

Truro netminder Jason Rioux does his best to hold the fort against the Yarmouth Mariners Saturday. The Bearcats took a narrow 2-1 victory and lead the best-of-seven divisional semi final 2-0. Rioux made 26 stops for the win.

YARMOUTH, N.S. - Nic Blanchard’s goal from Kyle Tibbo at 12:40 of the third period Saturday night has given the Truro Bearcats a 2-0 lead in their best-of-seven Eastlink South Division semi final with the Yarmouth Mariners.

YARMOUTH, N.S. - Nic Blanchard’s goal from Kyle Tibbo at 12:40 of the third period Saturday night has given the Truro Bearcats a 2-0 lead in their best-of-seven Maritime Junior Hockey League series with the Yarmouth Mariners.

Game 3 of the Eastlink South Division semi final is tonight (Monday) at the RECC at 7 p.m.

The first two games have been tight affairs. Having faced and measured each other so many times since the new year, head coach Shawn Evans says there aren’t a lot of surprises.

“Sometimes you just have to adjust to the game,” he said. “Sometimes you get more opportunities in games and sometimes it’s a grinder’s game, that’s what it was (Saturday) night.”

It was close throughout as netminder Jason Rioux stopped 26 shots for the win while his teammates managed 21 shots on Leif Hertz at the other end.

Rioux has been solid in he post-season’s early going.

“He’s played very well for us,” Evans said of Rioux. “I don’t like to go near the goaltender, so whatever he’s doing, I hope he continues to do it.”

After a scoreless first, Noah Archibald found the mark at 6:14 of the second, scoring from Denver Lynds and Tyler Pike.

The Mariners came back to tie it up early in the third when Matt Barron scored, assisted by Jordan Messenger and Ron Chipman.

But Blanchard’s marker stood up and the Bearcats return to the ice tonight at the RECC for game 3 enjoying their 2-0 lead.

The fourth game in the Maritime Junior Hockey League series goes Wednesday night back in Yarmouth at 7:30 p.m.

Ramblers and Crushers tied at one

In the other divisional semi final, the Pictou County Weeks Crushers have their hands full with a fired up Amherst Ramblers squad. After Pictou took the series opener Thursday 5-4 in double overtime, the Ramblers surprised the Crushers Saturday night in Amherst taking a 4-1 decision and tying the series at one.

That series also resumes tonight with Pictou County hosting Amherst at 7 p.m.

Blackmore, Hart and MacDonald called into service by Bearcats

TRURO, N.S. - The Truro Bearcats have called up three local players from their affiliate, the Pictou County Weeks Major Midgets, as they continue their Maritime Junior Hockey League playoff run.

The move comes as some Bearcats players have been unavailable due to bouts of sickness, among them Jarrod Shipley and Luke MacMillan. Head coach Shawn Evans says some are battling flu-like symptoms, others have chest infections.

The three Weeks players are G Blackmore, Gavin Hart and netminder Alex MacDonald.

“They will join the team for the rest of the playoffs,” Evans said. “I’m hoping it will be a good experience for them and it will give our team some added depth as well.”

Blackmore, of Millbrook, won the Nova Scotia Major Midget Hockey League scoring title and MVP award this season. He had 28 goals and 75 points in 37 games. He also played eight games with the Moncton Wildcats of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, scoring a goal and adding four assists.

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