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Bearcats facing elimination in MHL divisional semifinal series

Caleb Hart of the Bearcats and Cade Neilson of the Mariners go for the puck during first-period action in Game 3 of the Eastlink South Division semifinal series on Tuesday in Yarmouth. Tina Comeau
Caleb Hart of the Bearcats and Cade Neilson of the Mariners go for the puck during first-period action in Game 3 of the Eastlink South Division semifinal series on Tuesday in Yarmouth. Tina Comeau - Contributed

TRURO, N.S. – The Truro Bearcats are on the brink of playoff elimination.

The Bearcats return home to the Rath Eastlink Community Centre Thursday, March 21 for Game 4 in their Maritime Junior Hockey League Eastlink South Division semifinals series against the Yarmouth Mariners. Puck drop is 7 p.m.

Truro trails the best-of-seven series 3-0 after losing a heartbreaker on Tuesday in Yarmouth – 3-2 in overtime. Last Saturday, the Bearcats were edged 2-1 on home ice. The Mariners took Game 1 last Thursday 6-1.

“The situation is not one you want to be in, that’s obvious,” Bearcats coach Shawn Evans said Wednesday. “We go to the rink today and I’m not there to tell my players that we’re gonna win four games in a row, I’m there to tell them we can win one.

“There’s a lot of good things we’ve done in the last two games, but at the end of the day you’ve got to win in the playoffs and we haven’t done that to this point.”

The Mariners have dominated the Bearcats this season and have won all 10 meetings between the teams, regular season and playoffs included.

“We haven’t beaten them in so long I’d like to think the law of averages might go our way on Thursday night,” Evans chuckled.

Give the Bearcats credit for battling on Tuesday. The teams were tied 2-2 after two periods. After a scoreless third, Cade Neilson potted the winner for the Mariners at 6:42 of overtime on Yarmouth’s 44th shot of the game.

The Mariners scored both of their regulation goals on the power play. In total, Yarmouth had eight power-play chances while the Bearcats went 0-for-3 with the man-power advantage.

“We need to play a little bit smarter and we need to let the chips fall where they may at this point,” said Evans. “Is there disappointment and frustration? Well sure there is. Is there any give-up from my end? Never.”

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