TRURO , N.S. – The Truro Bearcats look to even their Maritime Junior Hockey League quarterfinal series against the Yarmouth Mariners on Saturday.
The teams face off for Game 2 in the best-of-seven affair at the Rath Eastlink Community Centre at 7 p.m.
The Mariners drew first blood on Thursday with a 2-0 victory in Yarmouth.
“We need to be better,” said Bearcats coach Shawn Evans. “We need to be better in some areas to give ourselves a better chance to get a win.”
Evans said his team did a lot of good things in the opening game at the Mariners Centre. The Bearcats outshot their opponent 31-30, however, they failed to capitalize on the few scoring chances they generated.
“If you don’t score you can’t win,” he said matter-of-factly.
“I’m not complaining with our effort or following the game plan – none of that; we need to keep doing that, but we need to find a way to generate more offence without taking away from our play away from the puck.”
After a scoreless first period, Noah McMullin netted the winning goal at 14:25 of the second. Connor Peveril added insurance at 4:18 of the third in front of a crowd of 1,304. Goaltender Leif Hertz earned the shutout and was named the game’s first star.
“Our opponent’s good,” said Evans. “They’re in first place for a reason and they got a good, solid, long lineup. All their D and all their forward lines are good and solid, so we’ve got our work cut out for us.”
The Bearcats have enjoyed success at home with a 16-9 regular-season record at the Community Credit Union Arena, including six wins in their final eight games on home ice.
“You like to be at home, but at the end of the day it’s a hockey game; basically, the rinks are all the same size and you’ve got to find a way to win every time you step out there in the playoffs,” said Evans. “Will it be nice to be at home? Certainly it will be, but if we’re going be at home and it’s going be nice, then we need to take advantage of it.”
Noah Archibald (concussion), Carson Lanceleve (broken finger) and Craig Ryan (healthy scratch) did not play in Game 1 for the Bearcats.
Game 3 will be played Monday in Yarmouth, while the Bearcats will host Game 4 on Wednesday at the RECC. Both contests start at 7 p.m.