TRURO, N.S. – The Truro Bearcats maintained their hold on third place in the Maritime Junior Hockey League’s Eastlink South Division, splitting a pair of outings on the weekend.
Friday the Bearcats were blanked 4-0 by the league’s top team, Summerside Western Capitals. Saturday, after spotting the visiting South Shore Lumberjacks a two-goal lead, the Bearcats stormed back for five straight and then held on for a 5-4 decision.
Truro (23-17-2-2) currently holds a five-point lead over fourth-place Pictou County Weeks Crushers (19-16-3-4) and they’re up on South Shore Lumberjacks (19-19-3-0) by nine.
Monday, the Bearcats can boost that margin when they travel to Amherst to take on the division’s second-place Ramblers (30-11-1-2) who are jostling with the Yarmouth Mariners (31-8-3-1) for the south’s top spot with just three points separating them.
Western Capitals 4
Friday at the RECC, a goal by Jessie Annear early in the first was all that separated the teams through 40 minutes. The Capitals broke it open in the third with Annear’s second of the night and singles by Sullivan Sparkes and Ryan MacDonald.
Brodie MacArthur padded his lead in the MHL scoring race, posting three assists. MacArthur has 93 points on 35 goals and 58 assists in 43 games. Closest to him is Jean-Simon Belanger of Grand Falls Rapids with 67 points.
League-leading goaltender Dominik Tmej posted his seventh shutout of the season for the win, while Myles Hektor took the loss in net for Truro. The Bearcats were outshot 30-26.
For the Summerside netminder, the shutout Friday set a record for most in a season for the MHL.
Saturday, three power-play goals in six opportunities helped lift the Bearcats from a two-goal deficit against the Lumberjacks.
After a scoreless opening frame, Cody Grant and Bair Gendunov tallied to put South Shore up 2-0 before Dylan Burton scored from Lauchie MacDonald and Curtis Heffernan with the man advantage to cut the lead to 2-1.
In the third, the Bearcats continued their rally, rattling off four straight goals. Will Mizuik, Heffernan, G Blackmore and Burton with his second power-play marker of the night made it 5-2 for Truro.
Gendunov’s second of the night with just under three minutes remaining made it interesting but the Bearcats stood their ground, aside from an inconsequential goal with five seconds remaining by McKullen Astill making the final 5-4.
The Lumberjacks held a 30-28 edge in shots on net as Hektor took the win for the Bearcats.
Heffernan finished with a goal and two assists on the night, while Gavin Hart helped out on three Truro goals.
The Bearcats face Amherst Monday in a Heritage Day matinee at 2 p.m. Thursday, Truro travels to Bridgewater to take on the Lumberjacks at 7 p.m. and Friday they are in Yarmouth to face the Mariners at 7:30 p.m.
Six games remain in the regular schedule, with five on the road. The Bearcats’ final scheduled home game is Saturday, March 9 when they host the Ramblers at 7 p.m.