Four players tallied two-point games for the Antigonish Farmers’ Mutual Junior Bulldogs in a 5-2 victory over the Cumberland County Blues.
The Nova Scotia Junior Hockey League match-up took place Nov. 17 at the Antigonish Arena.
“We are doing a lot of good things – the consistency of it is what you have to get better at,” first-year head coach David Synishin said, when asked about the victory.
“Even the game on Friday night [6-3 loss to Strait Pirates], I thought we played, position, well.
“Again, we did a lot of good things, and we were able to put the puck in the net on both nights,” he added.
The home team opened the scoring in the first period, on the power play, with veteran forward Giordano Saputo finding the net, on assists from Devin MacLaughlin and Mitchell Bowman.
Midway through the second, on another man advantage, MacLaughlin doubled the Bulldog edge, on helpers from Saputo and captain Brian MacDougall.
After the Blues sliced the lead in half, just 11 seconds later, Josh Cunningham regained the two-goal Bulldog margin (3-1), with an unassisted tally.
With 19 seconds remaining in the middle stanza, Patrik MacIsaac – from MacDougall and Taylor Leger – gave Antigonish a 4-1 lead heading to the locker room.
“We rolled our four lines and the six ‘D,’” Synishin said, when asked about team depth being a key component for the Bulldogs.
The teams traded goals in the third period, with Kurt MacLaughlin hitting the scoreboard for the Bulldogs, on assists from Josh Avery and Leger.
“That line of Patrik [MacIsaac], Kurt [MacLaughlin] and Josh [Avery] played very well,” Synishin said.
“We talked before the game about everyone, if you are not putting the puck in the net, has to be banging bodies.
“I thought we did a good job of that tonight – we play a physical game,” he added.
Charles Jensen made 21 stops for the victory.
“They [Blues] are a pretty good hockey team,” Synishin said, noting Cumberland held a pair of two-goal leads over the Bulldogs in a game earlier this season in Springhill.
“We are just doing things – better and better – as time goes on; we just have to be a little more consistent.”
Sunk by Pirates
Two nights earlier (Nov. 17), the Bulldogs dropped a 6-3 road decision to the rival Strait Pirates at the Port Hawkesbury Civic Centre.
Devin MacLaughlin scored a pair of first-period power-play goals for Antigonish, as part of a three-point game, while Saputo added a single marker.
Jensen made 26 saves in his season debut for the Black and Gold.
Back in action
The Bulldogs returned to action with three games in four nights, facing the East Hants Penguins (Nov. 24), Blues (Nov. 26) and Sackville Blazers (Nov. 27).
Results were unavailable at press time.
Antigonish will be back on the ice this weekend when they host the Junior Miners (Dec. 1), at the Antigonish Arena, and visit Springhill (Dec. 3) to face the Blues.
Puck drop for both match-ups is 7 p.m.