Beavers spoil Jr. Trappers weekend
Beavers goaltender Brock Crossthwaite makes a stop on Jr. Trappers forward Stephen Langford. Photo courtesy Denis Dubois & Core Computers. The North Bay Jr.
Beavers goaltender Brock Crossthwaite makes a stop on Jr. Trappers forward Stephen Langford. Photo courtesy Denis Dubois & Core Computers.
The North Bay Jr. “A” Trappers (28-7-3-3) had a season-high seven game winning streak snapped on Sunday afternoon, falling 5-2 to the Blind River Beavers (12-23-2-5).
Trevor Hunt and Stephen Langford got the goals for the Trappers, who played their third game in three days.
The Trappers combined for a 14-4 goal differential in the previous two games, including Saturday nights 11 goals against the Abitibi Eskimos.
“You always fear after you have a game where you score a high number of goals, you always fear the next game,” said Trappers head coach Tom McCarthy, “It’s obviously something we try to deter from our mental approach but we didn’t put pucks at the net very well early in the game and when we had opportunities, we kept trying to find better ice and their (Blind River) opportunities came.”
Hunt opened the scoring at 6:18 of the first period, capitalizing on some good down low play on the power play, putting in a rebound.
Samuel Wilbur answered at 12:59, a good give and go play with Corey McEwen.
Wilbur would pocket his second of the game, a power play goal at 19:08 off the rush to give the Beavers the lead after one period of play.
“Blind River, they are a team that competes and competes and keeps competing, and they don’t quit,” said McCarthy, “That’s been very evident with our success or our lack of, sometimes with the hockey team and in their arena. They came out today and I think we were sitting on our hands a little bit and we allowed them to bring it to us a little bit and they will keep competing and they kind of played the stalled game and we weren’t controlling the puck very well down low. We were trying to jam it into tight areas and we weren’t using our points and we weren’t spreading the ice a little bit to make the puck movement happen for our fortunes and we got ourselves caught, we got a little zealous.”
Early in the second, the Beavers would strike again. At 2:02, a bouncing point shot found blue ice behind Dodds and Brandon Bazinet was the first to find it and put it in.
The Trappers would make things interesting at 17:53 of the second, a two-on-one with Justin Schneeberger that Langford finished off.
In the third, the Beavers put it away early, re-establishing a two goal lead at 1:42, Bazinet got in one-on-one on Dodds and tucked it between his legs.
“Our defense were pinching in a little at times when they shouldn’t and consequently, pucks were bouncing by and odd man rushes were happening and that’s how the fourth goal happened, unnecessary pinching and if we stayed back and maybe let it come to us a little more, instead of trying to be overly aggressive and sometimes that happens because of the success you had from it the day before and it’s hard to get that mind set today, to get their mental thoughts around being simple, being really simple, especially being the third game in two and a half days.”
Tyson McLeod iced it with an empty net goal at 19:32.
The Beavers sit five points up on Abitibi and Elliot Lake and although they won’t be able to catch fourth place Kirkland Lake, they look to be a strong team going into the final few games.
The Trappers are still looking to solidify top spot in the league but the loss is definitely a set back.
“We had two games in hand to work with, being tied in first place with (the Soo Thunderbirds), now, it’s down to one,” said McCarthy, “We’ve put ourselves in a position where we never really carried a comfort zone but mind you, there is no comfort zone, we have seven games left. Every game’s a must, every game, every situation, every team in our league and play, we could face them in the playoffs so it’s a matter of establishment, even though things might have been established up to this point, it’s how you’re going into the playoffs, and we have seven remaining and I look forward to them, I look really forward to them.”
The Trappers begin an away-and-home series with the Sudbury Nickel Barons Wednesday night in Copper Cliff. The back end of that series will be Friday, February 22. Game time is set for 7:00 p.m. at Memorial Gardens.
-The attendance was 546.
-The two teams tied with 30 shots each. Dodds finished with 25 saves while Brock Crossthwaite stopped 28 shots.