ANTIGONISH, N.S. - It’s the most wonderful time of the year … at the Antigonish Arena.
The venerable facility will be the place to be Saturday (March 2) as it hosts intense hockey playoff action, starting with the Major Bantam Novas opening their best-of-three playoff series versus the Pro Hockey Life Harbour Storm from Cole Harbour.
Puck drop is at 5 p.m.
The series shifts back to Cole Harbour the following weekend (March 9 and 10) where game two will be played Saturday evening, 6:30 p.m. puck drop, and game three, if necessary, Sunday morning starting at 11 a.m.
The series winner will advance to the provincials being hosted by the Wear Well Bombers from Pictou County, later this month.
The Heatherton Warriors and Pleasantdale Panthers will look to take a stranglehold on their first-round best-of-seven Antigonish Rural League playoff series, following the Nova game.
Heatherton is scheduled to take on the County Outlaws at 7 p.m. followed by the Panthers and St. Croix Angels at 8:30 p.m. Both the Warriors and Panthers hold 2-0 leads in the series.
Mike Tobin’s two goals and Kory Tate’s goal and an assist led the Warriors to their 6-3 game two win. Veteran Ricky Bowie added two assists while Reed MacPherson, Alex Chisholm and Oliver MacDonald also scored for the Warriors.
Craig Rankin had three assists for the Outlaws who received two goals from Josh Landry, as well as two assists from Garrett Holmes. RD Chisholm scored County’s other goal.
Playoff scoring leader Garrett Lambke had a five point night as the Panthers downed St. Croix 7-4. Lambke scored twice while adding three assists and Pleasantdale also received two goal efforts from Brandon Verge and Jeremy Sheppard who also added an assist for a three-point night.
Regular season scoring champion Travis King added a goal and two assists while Brian MacDougall and Brandon MacKenzie each added two assists.
Lambke’s eight points, on two goals and six assists, are followed by Josh Robertson (four goals, two assists) and Verge (three goals, three assists) who each have six. Three players are tied for third with five points.