TRENTON – A second period comeback for the Pictou County Scotians wasn’t enough as the Strait Pirates took one final lead midway through the third period en route to a 4-3 victory Wednesday night in Trenton.
Scoring for the Scotians were Craig Matheson, Nick Hodgson and Brandon Verge. Marc Bourgeois, David Greencorn (2) and Mitchell Desveaux scored for the Pirates. Ben Goss turned aside 35 shots in the loss for the Scotians, while Steven Greencorn made 21 saves for the Pirates for the win.
In the first period the Scotians opened the scoring 12:29 into the frame off the stick of Matheson, but the Pirates came back late, to the Scotian’s dismay.
Bourgeois tied the game for Port Hawkesbury with 2:32 remaining in the period, before David Greenhorn scored his first of the game exactly a minute later to take a 2-1 lead into the intermission.
In the second period the Pirates kept their momentum rolling with Desveaux finding the back of the net 1:40 into the period. Trailing 3-1 it took a man advantage for the Scotians to get their momentum back.
Scoring two power play goals in the period, Hodgson scored the first 3:44 into the second to cut the lead to one before the NSJHL’s leading scorer, Verge, scored on the power play just over seven minutes later. Neither team would score in the second.
“It showed a lot of character and a lot of heart,” said Hodgson. “The boys know we can handle ourselves with this team and we know we can win so a two goal differential was nothing for us especially against these guys and especially that early in the game.”
In the third David Greencorn scored his second of the game 9:38 into the period to put the Pirates up 4-3. A Mitchell Watters penalty with just under five minutes remaining in regulation limited the Scotians opportunity to come back, having to kill the late penalty, but with 1:45 remaining Lucas Echleman’s interference penalty allowed the Pirates to take a 2-1 lead in the series home for Friday night’s Game 4.
“Honestly, if you heard the shot count in the third we only had two shots and that’s a huge thing,” said Hodgson. “If we don’t put the puck on net we aren’t going to get anything so I’d say the shots were the biggest thing for us.”
If the Scotians hope to tie the series again on Friday in Port Hawkesbury, Hodgson said the team needs to stay out of the box and capitalize on their opportunities.
“We can win in either rink, theirs or ours,” he said. “Historically we’ve done better in our rink, but that isn’t to say we can’t win in theirs. We just have to make sure we get more shots on goal and capitalize on those opportunities that come from that.”
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