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Bearcats clinch MHL playoff spot

Defenceman Mark O'Shaughnessy controls the puck during the Bearcats MHL game on Tuesday against the Pictou County Crushers. The Bearcats doubled the Crushers 4-2 to nab the fourth and final playoff spot in the Eastlink South Division.
Defenceman Mark O'Shaughnessy controls the puck during the Bearcats MHL game on Tuesday against the Pictou County Crushers. The Bearcats doubled the Crushers 4-2 to nab the fourth and final playoff spot in the Eastlink South Division. - Kevin Adshade

TRURO, N.S. – The Truro Bearcats are in.

The Bearcats clinched a Maritime Junior Hockey League playoff spot on Tuesday after a 4-2 victory over the rival Pictou County Weeks Crushers.

Truro (24-19-1-1) secured the fourth and final playoff spot in the Eastlink South Division, as they are 10 points ahead of fifth-place Pictou County (18-23-2-2) with five games remaining for each team.

Cameron MacLeod put Truro ahead 1-0 at 14:10 of the first period. Alex MacDonald made it a two-goal game at 12:53 of the second, while captain Campbell Pickard scored his team-leading 30th goal just over two minutes later for a 3-0 edge.

Jacob Hickey tallied a power-play goal for the Crushers at 18:32 of the middle frame and Giancarlo Fiori struck at 8:32 of the third, also on a powerplay. However, Luke Macmillan iced it with an empty netter in the dying seconds.

Bearcats goaltender Kevin Resop made 30 saves and was named the game’s first star.

Truro had 22 shots in the game, and attendance at the Pictou County Wellness Centre was 941.

The Bearcats will likely face the Yarmouth Mariners in a  first-round playoff matchup for the second straight season. The Mariners (33-12-1-0) lead the division, seven points ahead of the second-place Amherst Ramblers. Yarmouth has four games remaining and Amherst has five.

The Bearcats hit the road for a pair of games this weekend. Friday they’re in Woodstock and Saturday they visit St. Stephen.

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