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Timberwolves score in OT, down Bearcats in heated game


TRURO – A ringing post at one end of the rink was followed quickly by a soaring Gatorade bottle at the other end, both of which brought the home crowd to dissatisfied groans.

Lee Dower's bottle-popping snipe from the slot, just seconds after Truro Bearcats forward Justin Doiron bombed the post, was a topsy-turvy finish befitting of a game that could best be described as an emotional roller coaster. In the end, the Miramichi Timberwolves flooded the ice as if their 3-2 overtime victory in the 22nd game of the year was a Kent Cup title.

And for much of the game, it was played with the same intensity.

“Oh yeah, definitely,” said Doiron when asked if it was the most heated game of the season. “It's definitely what we wanted... Could have been a little better, though.”

The Bearcats got out to an early lead, with rookie Ben Higgins scoring a powerplay goal eight minutes in. Ryan MacDonald scored for Miramichi three minutes later, however, locking things at 1-1.

Emotions ran high in the second period, with the two clubs amassing 10 minor penalties, including roughing minors to Dower and Truro's Brandon Hughes just 57 seconds in. Both goaltenders held their own in the frame, however, with Luke Melanson turning aside 12 Timberwolves shots, while Bobby Dugan III made saves on all seven Bearcat shots.

Things remained close all through the third, until Hughes broke the deadlock on a shot from the left side of the slot. He skated past the Timberwolves bench, singling out a few players during his celebration. Embarrassingly, the PA announcer hadn't finished calling the goal when Melanson bobbled a shot from MacDonald to his glove side and the Timberwolves tied the game.

With 40 seconds left in the third period, Hughes put his team in jeopardy, taking a blatant roughing call in a post-whistle scrum. The Bearcats killed the clock, made it to overtime and kept the 'Wolves at bay until Hughes' penalty ended.

“That was probably the longest two minutes in my life,” Hughes said afterwards. “It definitely wasn't one of my finer moments.”

The Bearcats had golden opportunities late, with breakaway chances for Doiron and Connor Morrison, as well as two point-blank shots for Higgins.

“All over the net, the two of us,” Doiron said of himself and Higgins. “It just feels like there's someone upstairs not letting it go in, you know? The goalie, he did well, he stopped a lot. But that many chances between the two of us, someone's got to bury.”

Truro coach Shawn Evans called a timeout to settle his troops and draw up a plan. Soper would push the puck forwards off the faceoff in Miramichi's end, before hitting Doiron for a one-timer. It worked exactly as drawn, but the goal post had other plans.

“I got all of it,” Doiron said. “Couldn't ask for a better shot, but I got the post. There's nothing I can do.”

The Bearcats continue to lead the league in goals against and penalty killing, but are dead last in goals-for. With divisional games coming up next weekend against Valley and Amherst, they'll need to find goals somehow.

“We just need to come together as a team – a five-man unit coming up the ice,” Doiron said. “Guys are trying to finesse more, but we just need to get pucks on the net. Just shoot more.”

 

Game notes: Jacob Fancy was given the weekend off as the Bearcats prep for four games in seven days starting Saturday. Denver Lynds served the final game of a two-game suspension for his third checking from behind penalty this season.

Lee Dower's bottle-popping snipe from the slot, just seconds after Truro Bearcats forward Justin Doiron bombed the post, was a topsy-turvy finish befitting of a game that could best be described as an emotional roller coaster. In the end, the Miramichi Timberwolves flooded the ice as if their 3-2 overtime victory in the 22nd game of the year was a Kent Cup title.

And for much of the game, it was played with the same intensity.

“Oh yeah, definitely,” said Doiron when asked if it was the most heated game of the season. “It's definitely what we wanted... Could have been a little better, though.”

The Bearcats got out to an early lead, with rookie Ben Higgins scoring a powerplay goal eight minutes in. Ryan MacDonald scored for Miramichi three minutes later, however, locking things at 1-1.

Emotions ran high in the second period, with the two clubs amassing 10 minor penalties, including roughing minors to Dower and Truro's Brandon Hughes just 57 seconds in. Both goaltenders held their own in the frame, however, with Luke Melanson turning aside 12 Timberwolves shots, while Bobby Dugan III made saves on all seven Bearcat shots.

Things remained close all through the third, until Hughes broke the deadlock on a shot from the left side of the slot. He skated past the Timberwolves bench, singling out a few players during his celebration. Embarrassingly, the PA announcer hadn't finished calling the goal when Melanson bobbled a shot from MacDonald to his glove side and the Timberwolves tied the game.

With 40 seconds left in the third period, Hughes put his team in jeopardy, taking a blatant roughing call in a post-whistle scrum. The Bearcats killed the clock, made it to overtime and kept the 'Wolves at bay until Hughes' penalty ended.

“That was probably the longest two minutes in my life,” Hughes said afterwards. “It definitely wasn't one of my finer moments.”

The Bearcats had golden opportunities late, with breakaway chances for Doiron and Connor Morrison, as well as two point-blank shots for Higgins.

“All over the net, the two of us,” Doiron said of himself and Higgins. “It just feels like there's someone upstairs not letting it go in, you know? The goalie, he did well, he stopped a lot. But that many chances between the two of us, someone's got to bury.”

Truro coach Shawn Evans called a timeout to settle his troops and draw up a plan. Soper would push the puck forwards off the faceoff in Miramichi's end, before hitting Doiron for a one-timer. It worked exactly as drawn, but the goal post had other plans.

“I got all of it,” Doiron said. “Couldn't ask for a better shot, but I got the post. There's nothing I can do.”

The Bearcats continue to lead the league in goals against and penalty killing, but are dead last in goals-for. With divisional games coming up next weekend against Valley and Amherst, they'll need to find goals somehow.

“We just need to come together as a team – a five-man unit coming up the ice,” Doiron said. “Guys are trying to finesse more, but we just need to get pucks on the net. Just shoot more.”

 

Game notes: Jacob Fancy was given the weekend off as the Bearcats prep for four games in seven days starting Saturday. Denver Lynds served the final game of a two-game suspension for his third checking from behind penalty this season.

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