Sports

Jr. Trappers settle for draw to finish calendar year

Sunday, December 16, 2012   by: Mark Pare

Tait Seguin celebrates his second period marker. Photo courtesy www.leonieroberts.com

It wasn’t a win, but the North Bay Jr. “A” Trappers (18-3-
3-3) got some positives going into the Christmas break, salvaging a point in a 4-4 tie against the Soo Thunderbirds (19-4-3-2) on Sunday afternoon.

Connor Gilmartin, Brandon Janke, Samuel Blanchet and Tait Seguin scored for the Jr. Trappers, who are unbeaten in eight straight home games.

“I thought we didn’t start out really super today,” said Trappers head coach Tom McCarthy, “But we did get our game and got battling a bit better in the second and third period. Thrilled with the overtime there, there’s opportunities on both ways when the ice is that opened up but yeah, it’s a tough one but it’s not a loss, I think that’s the biggest part of it, we don’t lose any ground.”

The Trappers out shot the T-Birds 47-41, but McCarthy feels some of those shots were preventable.

“We weren’t intense enough around our net sometimes and we were maybe looking and watching the puck instead of the lonely loose guy that snuck in behind us a couple times to get the first two goals and sometimes, that’s a little attention to detail. ” he said.

Brandon Janke had a chance to bury a game-winner on a penalty shot attempt with under 30 seconds left in the second overtime but T-Birds goalie Joel Horodziejczyk stopped it, one of 43 saves.

Greg Dodds made 37 saves for the Trappers.

“I think we were a little pumped up for the game early and we might’ve been tense early in the game but we started to relax,” said McCarthy, “We had a great opportunity at the end with about 20 seconds left to win it but you gotta give credit to both goalies and both teams that battled, it was a good hockey game.”

The T-Birds opened the scoring at 8:05, when Darcy Casola grabbed hold of a rebound and poked the puck by Dodds

Gimartin tied it at 17:06, backhanding it over an out-of position Horodziejczyk.

It was looking to be a tie going into the break but after Justin Schneeberger got called for goaltender interference, it only took 10 seconds for Gregory Sartoretto to put the T-Birds back in the lead.

That set the tone for the game as the second period was loaded with special team opportunities.

Janke converted a shot from the door step on a rebound chance on the power play at 3:59 and it was tied again.

The back-and-forth action would continue as at 7:57, Casola tallied his second of the night, grabbing hold of a loose puck in the slot and wiring it by the Trapper keeper on a power play .

Blanchet finished off a beautiful tic-tac-toe play with the extra man at 10:37 to bring it even at three.

The Trappers would snag their first lead of the game near the end of the second, a shot sent in through the blue ice hit a defender’s leg and with Seguin and Paul Lamoureux crashing the net, one of them had to knock it in. The goal went to Seguin at 18:51.

In the third, the T-Birds put up the pressure to force the tying goal and after a spirited third period, the game got tied up with a Brandon Warmington goal, a tally off a counter-attack with 2:03 remaining.

The overtime periods were well contested, as the referees looked to let the top two teams in the league duke it out.

Janke got his penalty shot opportunity when he broke in on a fast break and got hauled down and flew into Horodziejczyk.

It solved nothing and both teams took the point.

The Jr. Trappers take that point into the Christmas break. McCarthy told his team to assess themselves, but also to get some much needed time off with family.

“The most important thing is to go home and relax and go rest and stop and what we talked about was to do a self-inventory, do a little inventory on yourself on the first half of your season, how hard you worked, how well you worked, how smart you worked, maybe some things that you can look at and adjust and bring back,” he said,

“With 21 games left in the season, when we come back, we’ll have a good opportunity to maybe sit and think about ourselves. Inventory is a big thing that I talk about, that we have to look at ourselves and maybe, see what we can improve on and what we have to work a little harder on but I’m sure they’ll stay to the grind. They get a couple weeks of family and friends and we’ll get back to work in January.”

The Trappers get back in action on the road on Saturday, January 5, 2013, when they start an away-and-home series with the Kirkland Lake Gold Miners.

The back end of that series is Sunday, January 6. Game time is set for 7:00 p.m. at Memorial Gardens.

Game Notes
-The attendance was 559.
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