First week wraps up in MHL

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The Maritime Hockey League kicked off it’s 47th season in existence this past week. For the first time since the 2007-08 season, the league is now comprised of twelve teams with the addition of the County Aces playing out of the Garcelon Civic Center in St. Stephen, N.B.

The season began on Thursday evening with the New Glasgow-based Pictou County Crushers taking on the Summerside Western Capitals and the Dieppe Commandos hosting the Valley Wildcats. After falling behind heading into the third period, the Crushers rallied for three unanswered third period goals to defeat the Capitals 4-2. Former Cape Breton Screaming Eagle Mike Lyle led the Crushers with a pair of goals while returning netminder Devan Tremblay turned aside 28 shots.

The Commandos would take a wild game at the Arthur J. LeBlanc Arena as they managed to defeat the Wildcats 7-5. Former Baie-Comeau Drakkar forward Robbie Graham scored two goals and added a helper while Cody Drover tallied four assists. Daniel Vautour stopped 27 shots in the victory for Dieppe.

The Friday night schedule saw four games take place. The Bridgewater Lumberjacks defeated the Miramichi Timberwolves 6-4. Josh Shatford scored twice with four other players scoring multi-point games for the Jacks. Cory Petersen stopped 30 shots in the victory.

The Wildcats would play their first game in the Kings Mutual Century Centre in Berwick, the first time the league hosted a game in Berwick since the inaugural season of 1967-1968. Valley would hold a 3-1 lead after the first but the Crushers would storm back and take the game 5-4 in a shootout. Lyle would add another two goals for the Crushers while Tremblay made 36 saves.

In a potential battle of two powerhouse teams, the Woodstock Slammers would defend their home ice and defeat the defending champion Truro Bearcats 6-4. MacKenzie Brown, Michael White and Riley Craft all registered a goal and an assist for the Slammers while netminder Matt Jenkins turned aside 23 shots.

The final game of the night saw the Dieppe Commandos improve to 2-0 when they defeated the hometown Campbellton Tigers 3-1. Ryan Langan and Graham both had one goal and an assist in the effort while Marc Terriault stopped 28 shots for the Commandos.

The final games of the week would be played on Saturday, with the action beginning as the Valley Wildcats defeated the Bridgewater Lumberjacks by a score of 5-2. Former Lumberjack Jeremy Butterworth scored two goals while goaltender Mark Loveday turned aside 27 shots in the win.

The first game at the Garcelon Civic Center would follow as the County Aces were defeated by the Truro Bearcats 9-1. Daniel Perigo led the Bearcats with a pair of goals and an assist while Alex Soumakis and Jacob Smith registered a goal and two assists. Jacob Fancy stopped 28 of 29 shots in the Truro net. Caleb Stairs would reply and score the first goal in the history of the County Aces.

The Amherst Ramblers would lose their home opener against the Woodstock Slammers by a score of 8-4. Jonny Erbs would score a pair of goals for the Slammers and be one of six players to have two points in the game. Antoine Landry turned aside 28 shots in the Slammers net. The final game of the week saw the Yarmouth Mariners win their home opener against the Miramichi Timberwolves by a score of 2-1. Ross Martin and Cole Reginato would score the Mariners while Chase Gaudet made 26 saves in the winning effort.

The second week of the MHL season will begin this Thursday when the Crushers host the Bridgewater Lumberjacks and the Dieppe Commandos taking on the Truro Bearcats.

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