© CHRISTOPHER CAMERON - THE NEWS
Members of the Weeks Crushers prepare to shake hands after Game 4 of their Eastlink Division final against the Truro Bearcats. Truro defeated Pictou County 4-0 in the series to advance to the MHL final
NEW GLASGOW - The Weeks Crushers came close twice, but the Truro Bearcats were able to defeat them in four straight games to advance to the MHL final against the winner of the Meek Division final.
Sunday night at the Wellness Centre the Bearcats defeated Pictou County 4-3 in overtime.
Daniel Poliziani scored with 2:32 remaining in the first overtime period to make his team Eastlink Division champions, though the win didn't come without some controversy.
Pictou County’s Daniel MacLeod opened the scoring 9:57 into the first period, pounding a slap shot five-hole on Chris Festarini. The lead stood through the first period, though David Stephens took the third penalty for the Crushers with 29 seconds left in the frame.
They killed it off as Truro started the game 0-3 on the power play, but on their fourth advantage, which came after a Tanner McCabe roughing penalty, Daniel Perigo tied the game for Truro.
In the next 2:15 Truro’s Jeff Hanes and Tyler Morrison each scored a goal to change the momentum. That momentum also shifted because the goal given to Morrison hit the post and bounced up and away from the net, but officials called it a goal. The fans and Crushers bench were extremely frustrated, but the call was not reversed.
Head coach Jason Malone couldn’t believe his eyes as he held his hands on his head during the whole discussion around the goal.
Luckily for Pictou County they moved forward and didn’t allow that to affect their play. Kyle Tibbo took a blow to the head penalty with 7:54 remaining in the second, sending the Crushers to their second power play of the game.
This time Evan Carmody helped Pictou County convert, putting the puck past Festarini from the faceoff circle to the left of the Truro goalie. Down by a lone goal, they were still down a goal with their season on the line.
Another power play goal tied the game for Pictou County as Garrett Holmes wired a shot along the ice with 9:17 remaining in regulation.
The Crushers had two more power plays before the end of the period, but couldn’t score on either. With just 2:05 left in the third Rory Graham fell down and in the process tripped a Bearcats play, sending Truro to the power play.
Pictou County killed the Graham penalty off, meaning overtime was needed.
Eventually Poliziani broke through for Truro, who controlled most of the possession play in the period, beating Brandon Thibeau.
Festarini made 29 saves in the win, while Thibeau stopped 35 in the loss.
Full story to come.