Truro Bearcats come up just short in opener

Miramichi Timberwolves take 6-5 decision in back-and-forth battle


Published on April 16, 2017

Nic Blanchard, seen here in earlier playoff action, scored twice for the Bearcats Saturday in a 6-5 loss to the Miramichi Timberwolves as the MHL’s championship series got underway.

©TRURO DAILY NEWS

MIRAMICHI, N.B. - It was a seesaw battle throughout but the Miramichi Timberwolves prevailed over the Truro Bearcats in the opener of the Maritime Junior Hockey League’s championship final.

Josh Shatford’s goal at 18:03 with just under two minutes remaining in the third period proved the difference as the Timberwolves took a 6-5 victory Saturday over the Bearcats, and a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.
Miramichi, undefeated in the playoffs after two divisional sweeps, were relentless with their attack in the Truro end, firing 40 shots at netminder Jason Rioux. The Bearcats tallied five times on just 17 shots they mustered against Miramichi goalie Michael Botiz.
Play was wide open as the teams went goal for goal and were tied 2-2 after 20 minutes, with the Timberwolves holding a 5-4 lead after two periods.
Brandon Hughes scored for Truro on a solo effort at 16:43 of the third to tie it at five, but Shatford’s goal at 18:03 held up for the win. The Bearcats pulled Rioux in the late going but couldn't get the equalizer.
Nic Blanchard scored twice for the Bearcats, including a first-period power play goal, with singles going to Justin Doiron, Dylan Burton and Hughes.
Makail Parker led the Timberwolves with a pair, while Lee Dower, Jonny Erbs, Eddie Banville and Shatford had the other markers.
There was 12 minutes in minor penalties called, four against Truro.
The series resumes Tuesday at the Rath-Eastlink Community Centre. Opening face-off is 7 p.m. Game 3 in back in Miramichi Thursday at 7:30 p.m. and Game 4 is in Truro Saturday at 7 p.m.