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Ramblers win wild Game 3 against Bearcats

Connor Morrison of the Bearcats races toward a loose puck during Game 3 action in the MHL Eastlink South Division final against the Amherst Ramblers Wednesday. Amherst won the contest 3-0. Truro leads the best-of-seven series 2-1 heading into  Game 4 Saturday at the Amherst Stadium.
Connor Morrison of the Bearcats races toward a loose puck during Game 3 action in the MHL Eastlink South Division final against the Amherst Ramblers Wednesday. Amherst won the contest 3-0. Truro leads the best-of-seven series 2-1 heading into Game 4 Saturday at the Amherst Stadium.

TRURO, N.S. – In a bizarre turn of events, the Truro Bearcats had their lead in the Maritime Junior Hockey League Eastlink South Division final series cut in half.

The Bearcats were blanked 3-0 by the Amherst Ramblers Wednesday in a wild and controversial Game 3 in front of 1,852 fans at the Rath Eastlink Community Centre.

With the Ramblers clinging to a 1-0 lead late in the contest, Bearcats captain Kyle Tibbo scored what appeared to be the game-tying goal when he flipped the puck upstairs behind goaltender Daryl MacCallum from in tight.

As the Bearcats began to celebrate, the referee motioned no goal, and Matt Cusson of the Ramblers went the other way and scored on a breakaway to give the visitors a 2-0 lead with just under three minutes remaining.

Eastlink TV broadcast the game, and a replay of Tibbo’s effort clearly showed the puck popped the water bottle that sat on top of the net. However, the MHL doesn’t use video replay and the call on the ice stood.

The teams battled evenly through 40 minutes. It wasn’t until 15:22 of the third period that Dawson Grenier scored on a point blast to give the Ramblers a 1-0 advantage. After Cusson’s insurance marker, Matt Lapointe sealed it with an empty netter with 39 seconds remaining.

MacCallum stopped all 31 shots he faced, while Jason Rioux was also sharp in making 28 saves.

Game 4 is Saturday in Amherst at 7 p.m., while Game 5 will be played in Truro on Monday, also at 7 p.m.   

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