WINDSOR, N.S. - The Valley Maple Leafs dealt with a hard-skating Antigonish Jr. Bulldogs team Jan. 23 at the Hants Exhibition Arena but managed to leave with the win.
The Bulldogs controlled play during sections of the game but credit has to be given to the Leafs for their relentless fore-checking and back-checking.
They recorded a 3-0 shut-out win over the Bulldogs.
There is a renewed sense of hope for the Leafs, who hope to reach the playoffs.
Going into their game with the Pictou County Scotians on Jan. 25 at the Hants Exhibition Arena, they stood seven points behind the Liverpool Privateers for the fourth and final playoff spot in the Fred Fox Division.
A win Friday over the Scotians and some help from other league teams, would put the Leafs in position to move to within three points of the Privateers when they play a make-up game Jan. 30 in Windsor at 8 p.m.
During the Jan. 23 victory, the Leafs received a sensational game from goalie Blake Meech, who turned away all 36 Bulldog shots.
Captain Cody Burghardt opened the game’s scoring after receiving a brilliant pass from Isaac Bridge from behind the Antigonish net.
The Valley outshot Antigonish 15-13 in the opening period.
In the second period, during which the Valley held the Bulldogs to seven shots while taking 12 themselves, after having several pucks turned away, Conal Lucey picked up a puck and snapped it home to give the Leafs a 2-0 lead.
Minutes later, Peter Drohan was positioned to the right of the Antigonish net and flipped a high back-handed shot over the left shoulder of the Bulldogs’ goalie Jared Green to make the score 3-0.
There was no scoring in the third, although the Bulldogs put up quite an effort.
In earlier action
The Leafs lost both games they played on Jan. 18 and Jan. 19.
The Liverpool Privateers edged the Leafs 3-2 in Queens County on Jan. 19.
The game was a nail-biter.
The Privateers went in front 3-0 before Burghardt replied for the Leafs to make it a 3-1 game after two periods. The teams were scoreless throughout much of the third period as Liverpool outshot the Leafs 16-7 for a game total of 39-26.
Drohan’s power-play goal for the Leafs was the only goal of the third period giving the Privateers a 3-2 verdict.
When the Cole Harbour Colts came to Windsor Jan. 18, they defeated the Leafs 5-2.
The Leafs struck early, taking a 2-0 lead after the first period with goals by Tristan Bowlby and Ian Drysdale.
Despite taking 45 shots at the Cole Harbour net, those were the only two goals they could score all evening.
The Colts scored three unanswered goals in the second period and added two more in the third for the victory.