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River Rats advance to NSRHL championship final

WINDSOR, N.S. — The Avon River Rats are moving on after defeating the Spryfield Attack in their Best of Seven playoff series.

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With three consecutive wins, including one in double overtime, the River Rats overcame being down 2-1 in the series to secure the right to compete in the Nova Scotia Regional Junior Hockey championship final.

They will be taking on the Metro Jaguars for the right to advance to the Maritime North Junior Hockey Championship.

The Jaguars, with a late season drive, nosed out the River Rats for first place in the League standings, finishing with a 24-6-0 record for 48 points while the Rats concluded their season at 22-6-1-1 for 46 points.

The River Rats and Jaguars will play Game 1 of their series March 12 in Halifax, and as of press time, the league has not announced the dates for the remainder of the final series as securing ice time was becoming more difficult in Windsor.

How they advanced

The River Rats and Spryfield Attack were deadlocked at two games apiece when they hit the ice in Windsor on March 7.

Both clubs came out on fire and the game was tied 1-1 before two minutes were played, with the goals coming 20 seconds apart. The Attack then made it 3-1 by the mid-way mark of the first period. The River Rats could not be held down as Stuart Whidden and Logan Cleveland replied with goals to see the first period end in a 3-3 draw.

The scoring settled down, with the Attack scoring on the power-play in the second to take a 4-3 lead.

Jake Hopewell scored with 6:30 gone in the third period to knot the game at four. It stayed that way until the second overtime period when Tyler Dixon scored, unassisted, 40 seconds into the fifth period.

The teams fired 37 shots apiece at the respective opposing goaltenders.

Game 6 was held in Spryfield March 8.

The River Rats started and finished strong, taking 2-0 and 3-0 period leads before settling for a 5-1 series clinching win.

Kyle Armsworthy and Justin MacLellan tallied the first goals before Mitchell Urquhart, who also collected a pair of assists, scored to make it 3-0 after two periods.

Armsworthy scored his second goal of the game before Allister Avard, on the power-play with only 14 seconds left in the game, scored the the Rats' fifth and final goal.

The River Rats' Carter McMullin played an exceptionally good game in nets, turning away 33 of the 34 shots he faced from Spryfield. The Rats scored on five of their 25 shots on goal during the game.


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