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Fighting for wins


TRURO – With their gloves and helmets on the ice, Alex Anthony and Regan Spears moved backwards away from the Truro bench.

After an exchange of punches, Spears pulled his right arm back to shake off his elbow pad and prep for another haymaker. During the split second move, Anthony delivered a hard right hand to Spears' head. Moments later, Spears went down to one knee and the linesmen jumped in.

On its feet, a crowd of 1,134 fans erupted. The two players exchanged several more punches before being separated and heading off the ice. For the Truro Bearcats, it capped off the most dominant period of hockey against the Pictou County Weeks Crushers this season.

The score was 1-0; the shots were a staggering 17-8 and the fight scored in favour of the home team. By the evening’s end, the Bearcats would have a 2-1 win and a sit a single point back of first place in the Eastlink Division.

After the game, Anthony didn’t have much to say about the tilt, other than he was glad to get it over with.

“His gloves came off and before I knew it, my gloves were off,” the Bearcat said, shrugging. “(My) first fight.”

The Bearcats got on the board just shy of six minutes into the game, when Ben Higgins lifted a loose puck over Crushers goalie Daniel Vautour. The Pictou goalie kept his team alive in the first period, giving them their only lift with several key saves.

With 2:14 to play in the first 20, Spears got mixed up with Bearcats rookie Johnny Foley. As things heated up, Anthony stepped in with a face wash. Moments later, the fight broke out. The building erupted as the young player held his own versus Spears, the Crushers’ leading goal scorer and penalty producer.

Pictou pressed early in the second period, however, tying the game with a powerplay goal from Garrett Lambke at 1:36. It would stay that way until a Braydon Blight wrist shot from the high slot trickled through Vautour midway through the period.

“It was a big goal – bit of a weak one,” Blight said afterwards. “But we’ll certainly take it.”

Despite outshooting Truro 18-6 in the middle period, Pictou was down a goal. Their leading goal scorer had been thrown out and they couldn’t beat Fancy in the third. The 20-year-old goalie kept his hot streak going, making 33 saves on 34 shots for the win. Through five starts in January, Fancy is 3-2 with a .959 save percentage.

Coach Shawn Evans was pleased with his team after the game and hoped they’d use it to boost their confidence.

“We were the better team in the first, they were the better team in the second. The bottom line, we found a way to win in the third,” Evans said after the game. “We’re a team that needs more self-belief as a group. Hopefully these types of games help.”

Also a big help was the boost from Anthony, the coach said. The players choose a player after each win to take part in a post-game ritual. On Saturday, they chose Anthony.

“I thought that was a wise choice. His opponent tonight always makes his presence known in the game – somebody that we’ve battled with for three years now, somebody that we respect. That was a good job by Alex.”

The Bearcats are back in action next Saturday, facing the Valley Wildcats at home. Truro is now a single point back of both Pictou and Valley in the standings.

 

ryan.cooke@trurodaily.com

Twitter: @tdnryan

 

After an exchange of punches, Spears pulled his right arm back to shake off his elbow pad and prep for another haymaker. During the split second move, Anthony delivered a hard right hand to Spears' head. Moments later, Spears went down to one knee and the linesmen jumped in.

On its feet, a crowd of 1,134 fans erupted. The two players exchanged several more punches before being separated and heading off the ice. For the Truro Bearcats, it capped off the most dominant period of hockey against the Pictou County Weeks Crushers this season.

The score was 1-0; the shots were a staggering 17-8 and the fight scored in favour of the home team. By the evening’s end, the Bearcats would have a 2-1 win and a sit a single point back of first place in the Eastlink Division.

After the game, Anthony didn’t have much to say about the tilt, other than he was glad to get it over with.

“His gloves came off and before I knew it, my gloves were off,” the Bearcat said, shrugging. “(My) first fight.”

The Bearcats got on the board just shy of six minutes into the game, when Ben Higgins lifted a loose puck over Crushers goalie Daniel Vautour. The Pictou goalie kept his team alive in the first period, giving them their only lift with several key saves.

With 2:14 to play in the first 20, Spears got mixed up with Bearcats rookie Johnny Foley. As things heated up, Anthony stepped in with a face wash. Moments later, the fight broke out. The building erupted as the young player held his own versus Spears, the Crushers’ leading goal scorer and penalty producer.

Pictou pressed early in the second period, however, tying the game with a powerplay goal from Garrett Lambke at 1:36. It would stay that way until a Braydon Blight wrist shot from the high slot trickled through Vautour midway through the period.

“It was a big goal – bit of a weak one,” Blight said afterwards. “But we’ll certainly take it.”

Despite outshooting Truro 18-6 in the middle period, Pictou was down a goal. Their leading goal scorer had been thrown out and they couldn’t beat Fancy in the third. The 20-year-old goalie kept his hot streak going, making 33 saves on 34 shots for the win. Through five starts in January, Fancy is 3-2 with a .959 save percentage.

Coach Shawn Evans was pleased with his team after the game and hoped they’d use it to boost their confidence.

“We were the better team in the first, they were the better team in the second. The bottom line, we found a way to win in the third,” Evans said after the game. “We’re a team that needs more self-belief as a group. Hopefully these types of games help.”

Also a big help was the boost from Anthony, the coach said. The players choose a player after each win to take part in a post-game ritual. On Saturday, they chose Anthony.

“I thought that was a wise choice. His opponent tonight always makes his presence known in the game – somebody that we’ve battled with for three years now, somebody that we respect. That was a good job by Alex.”

The Bearcats are back in action next Saturday, facing the Valley Wildcats at home. Truro is now a single point back of both Pictou and Valley in the standings.

 

ryan.cooke@trurodaily.com

Twitter: @tdnryan

 

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