TRURO, N.S. – The Truro Bearcats were no match for the Yarmouth Mariners on Thursday.
The Mariners jumped out to a four-goal first-period cushion and cruised to a well-deserved 7-1 victory to sweep a Maritime Junior Hockey League Eastlink South Division semifinal series in four straight games.
Yarmouth awaits the winner of the Amherst Ramblers-South Shore Lumberjacks semifinal. Amherst edged South Shore 4-3 Thursday to tie that best-of-seven at two games apiece.
Andrew Martell was the biggest Bearcat killer on Thursday, scoring a natural hat trick in a span of 1:32 late in the first period – including a power-play goal – to give the visitors a 5-1 lead after 20 minutes.
Cade Neilson and Logan Timmons each added a pair of goals for the Mariners, who handed the Bearcats an 11th straight loss this season. Kyle Sexton had the lone Truro goal on a power play in the first period.
Bearcats goaltender Myles Hektor, playing his final game of junior hockey, faced 31 shots, while his teammates fired 30 pucks at Tyler Caseley.
The Mariners finished the regular season 24 points ahead of the Bearcats.
As has been the case all season, the Bearcats sputtered offensively in the series, netting just five goals in the four games.
Attendance at the Rath Eastlink Community Centre Thursday was 1,272.