Standings get close as MHL nears December



As MHL teams close in on half the season being played, only one team has managed to pull itself away from the rest of the pack.

The Woodstock Slammers hold a 10 point lead over the Miramichi Timberwolves in the Meek Division, with Miramichi being one of three teams within five points of second place. In the Eastlink Division, the Pictou County Weeks Crushers hold top spot with 29 points, just seven points ahead of the Valley Wildcats in fourth place.

Action began on Wednesday evening, with the Slammers traveling to Campbellton and holding off a third period rally to defeat the Tigers 3-2. Captain Kyle Haas, Matt Bursey and Angus Johnston scored for the Slammers while Antoine Landry stopped 23 shots in the win.

The following night would see a pair of games, the first being the Valley Wildcats defeating the Amherst Ramblers 8-1 in Berwick. Nick Bruce and former Rambler John Deacon led the Wildcats with a pair of goals and an assist, while Grant Janes had a goal and two helpers. Will King turned aside 29 shots in the Wildcats net. In New Glasgow, the Crushers defeated the St. Stephen County Aces 5-1. Ryan Caswell scored a pair of goals, Luc Poirier had three assists and Devan Tremblay stopped 20 shots in the win for the Crushers.

On Friday night, the Bridgewater Lumberjacks narrowly missed out on sending their fans home happy as the Weeks Crushers defeated the Lumberjacks 4-3 in overtime. Regan Spears scored his second goal of the game 2:06 into overtime to lift the Crushers to their second win of the week. The only other game of the night was a clash between two Meek Division power houses as the Woodstock Slammers defeated the Dieppe Commandos 6-4 in Woodstock. Bursey led the Slammers with a pair of goals and an assist. Benji Curtis replied with a pair of goals for Dieppe.

Saturday would see an increase in the schedule, with four games being played. The first was the Yarmouth Mariners traveling to Truro and defeating the Bearcats 3-2. Mathieu Laverdure, Connor Rogers and Brandon Syms all scored goals while Chase Gaudet turned aside 24 Truro shots. The Summerside Western Capitals  would get off to a slow start in their home game against the Bridgewater Lumberjacks, and would not be able to overcome it as they would drop the contest 4-3. Matt Wright notched a pair of goals for the Lumberjacks while Cory Petersen stopped 34 shots in the win. The Campbellton Tigers traveled to Berwick and defeated the Valley Wildcats 4-3 in overtime. Former Wildcat Darcy Burley scored 51 seconds into overtime while Guillaume Brideau stopped 35 shots in the win. The final game of the night seen the Miramichi Timberwolves defeat the Amherst Ramblers 5-4 in overtime. Lee Dower scored the overtime goal for the Timberwolves while Lucas Batt recorded a hat trick plus an assist for the Ramblers.

Sunday would see an unusually busy schedule, as five games would be played. The first would see the Ramblers rebound after losing a tough game the night before by defeating the Yarmouth Mariners 6-5 in a shootout. Zack MacEwen scored the shootout winner after scoring a goal and two assists in the game. The Campbellton Tigers would pull of an upset by defeating the Truro Bearcats 2-1, also in a shootout. Darcy Burley would play hero again, this time connecting in the shootout while Guillaume Brideau stopped 25 shots. The Summerside Western Capitals would also rebound following a home ice loss, defeating the Miramichi Timberwolves 5-2. Brad Power led the Capitals with a pair of goals and an assist. Brodie Barrick stopped 36 shots in the win. The Dieppe Commandos defeated the Bridgewater Lumberjacks 5-2