First-year forward Liam Berthiaume roofed a hard wrist shot under the crossbar to give his Novas a 4-3 victory – in a shootout – over the visiting Bedford Barons in Nova Scotia Major Bantam Hockey League action.
The teams clashed Jan. 27 at the Antigonish Arena.
“I just wanted to do my best to help our team win,” he said outside the victorious locker room.
After Berthiaume – the Nova’s fifth shooter – tallied, his teammates spilled over the bench and celebrated the come-from-behind victory.
“I was just trying to tell myself to stay calm,” he said, when asked about his mindset as he skated in on Barons’ goaltender Benjamin Guenette.
Earlier in the game, the two players also went one-on-one, after defenceman Brent O’Handley sent Berthiaume in alone, who bested Guenette with a similar shot.
“I wanted to do the same thing,” he said, when asked if the first encounter influenced his shot decision during the shootout.
The regulation-time marker, which came with 1:32 remaining in the second period, gave the Novas a 3-2 edge – their first of the game.
After falling behind 2-0 in the first period, the home team scored back-to-back goals in a 20-second span to even the contest.
Charles LeBlanc, from Ryan Digout, put the Novas on the scoreboard, with team captain Dylan Chisholm notching the equalizer, from Luke Gould and Kaber MacNeil.
Less than one minute into the third period, Brock McNeil knotted the game at 3-3 for the Barons.
With no goals in the three-on-three overtime, Guenette and second-year Nova Kenzie MacPhail took centre stage.
After MacPhail, who was named top bantam goaltender during the recent Chronicle Herald East Coast Ice Jam, set the tone for the shootout with a sparkling glove save.
Gould then gave the Novas a one-goal edge, when he slid a backhander five-hole against Guenette.
After the Barons tied it, both goalies then barred the scoring door, including another stellar glove stop from MacPhail, until Berthiaume’s heroics.
MacPhail finished with 45 saves, including four in the shootout.
“I knew I had to make some big saves and be clutch for my team,” he said, noting he was not happy with the second Baron goal he surrendered in the first period.
“I was able to help our team win, which was great.”
The Novas returned to action over the weekend with home games versus Kings Mutual and Joneljim Cougars.
Results were unavailable at press time.
The Novas will be on the road this weekend when they visit the Pro Life Harbour Storm (Feb. 10) and ACCEL Physio (Feb. 11).