PICTOU COUNTY – Desperate, needing to win, the Weeks Major Midgets took their first lead in their NSMMHL playoff series to set the tone against the Halifax Titans early in Game 4 on Tuesday night at the Pictou County Wellness Centre.
The Weeks squad early pressure paid off as they went on to defeat the Titans 5-3 and force a fifth game.
Lane Cormier opened the scoring for Pictou County at 7:33 of the first period, shoveling the puck under Titan goaltender Jacob Dempsey. Just four minutes later off a scramble in front, Lucas Sangster was able to put the puck through the crowd and past Dempsey to give the Weeks Major Midgets a 2-0 lead.
The Titans answered just 37 seconds later with Drew Packman scoring his third goal in two nights in Pictou County, cutting the Weeks lead to one.
Not to be out done, Cormier would give his team a two goal lead again just over a minute later, breaking in and beating Dempsey high on his glove side. The goal chased Dempsey from the game after allowing three goals on five Weeks shots, making way for Nicholas Dawe.
“(Mark) Vokey, one of the best scorers in the league and for our team is out so we all had to step up and replace some of the key guys,” said Cormier. “I never expected to score like I did tonight, I just got the bounces tonight and my line mates played great around me.”
The first period ended with Pictou County ahead 3-1, with the shots 13-5 for Halifax.
In the second Brett McNeil scored the only goal of the period on the power play for the Halifax Titans. It was his second power play goal in two games and the teams third, cutting the lead to 3-2 heading into the second intermission.
Just three minutes into the third Halifax would tie the Weeks Major Midgets off Nick Welsh’s stick, but after a pair of Halifax penalties their chance would come with a 5-on-3 man advantage. Aaron Coleman put the puck towards the goal from the point, following it up, with it eventually bouncing off Dawe and into the net. The Weeks Major Midgets were now up 4-3 with 12 minutes remaining.
Cormier would score a hat-trick goal on an empty cage to seal the victory with 12 seconds left in regulation.
“That was a gut effort from guys all pulling on the same rope,” said head coach Dave MacIntyre. “We have some guys out that are key members of our team and everyone else stepped up and put it on the line and I’ve very proud of them.”
Game 5 will take place later this week at a time to be determined by the two teams. Cormier said the team will need to have a similar effort to Tuesday night if they want their season to continue.
“We need prepare like we did before,” he said. “We have our backs to the wall now, but we did it tonight. It starts with one win to get things rolling and hopefully we can continue in the next games.”
Weeks Major Midgets 5
1st Lane Cormier from Ryan Camp and Cody Johnston 7:33
1st Lucas Sangster from Cody Johnston 11:36
1st Lane Cormier from Cody Johnston and Ryan Camp 13:37
3rd Aaron Coleman 8:00 PP
3rd Lane Cormier from Ryan Camp and Darryl Wheadon 19:48
Halifax Titans 3
1st Drew Packman from Luc Porier and Adam Clarke 12:13
2nd Brett MacNeil from John MacDonald and Jack Patterson 4:31 PP
3rd Nick Welsh from Campbell Pickard 3:29
W: Luke Melanson 33 saves
L: Nicholas Dawe 10 saves
Jacob Dempsey 2 saves
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