Pirates win home opener

Sasha Repko, a national-level Special Olympian from Port Hawkesbury, drops the puck to usher in the Nova Scotia Junior Hockey League action at the home barn of the Strait Pirates, the Port Hawkesbury Civic Centre. She’s seen her with Port Hawkesbury Mayor Brenda Chisholm-Beaton and Pirate President Adam Rodgers. Taking the face-off are Strait Pirate Taylor Pierce and Liverpool Privateer Brendan Humphreys.

PORT HAWKESBURY: With relative newcomer Ryan Bakker connecting for a pair of second period goals, the Junior Pirates managed a 3-2 win over the Liverpool Privateers last Friday night.

“Overall, I think we played a solid three periods of hockey,” said Pirate coach, Taylor Lambke. “In the second, we got into some penalty trouble and they were able to get a couple, but we showed some good character responding.

“After the first, I think we felt like we deserved to have more than one on the board, and they probably felt lucky that they only gave up one. There was nothing we needed to change or do differently. We just needed to put the puck in the net.”

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Bakker’s pair came with 6:46 (from Brendan Lanning and Cullen MacEachern) and 4:06 (Avery Warner and Taylor Pierce) remaining in the middle frame. The goals overturned a 2-1 Privateers lead, the result of a pair of second period Liverpool goals. Those were the only goals newly-minted Pirate goalie Cody Smith allowed all game.

The Pirates led by a single goal at the end of the first, thanks to a Bryce Reynolds power play goal from Josh Foster and Warner.

Even though Liverpool managed a second period lead, the host Pirates had the edge in play all periods. The Strait outshot Liverpool 46-26.

It was mentioned earlier that Bakker is a relative newcomer. In specific, he arrived in Pirate country at the tail end of last season. On Wednesday of last week, the Pirates did a bit of wheeling and dealing to bring two new faces to the club.

The Pirates obtain Brandon Dauphnee and Jacob Keighan, both of the Glace Bay Miners.

Dauphnee is a 20-year-old forward from Glace Bay. He has three years of Junior A under his belt, most recently with St. Stephen of the MJAHL.

He is a former affiliate of the Pirates.

Keighan is a 19-year-old forward from North Sydney. He was a key member of the league champion and Don Johnson Cup winning Glace Bay Miners last year.

“We were working on the trade the entire training camp, and we hoped to have it done earlier to get them into practices, but we’re happy to have both of them,” Lambke said. “They bring a lot of experience and winning to our dressing room.”

In return, the Pirates gave up the rights to Cody Hinkley and Ryan Lawless, next year’s waiver pick, and future considerations. In a press release, general manager Tim MacMillan said the Pirates thank Hinkley and Lawless for their contributions to the club and “we wish them well.”

Lambke added that the team was happy to see a good turn out last Friday, and the squad hopes to put a great product on the ice for them.

This Friday, the Pirates host the Sackville Blazers at 7:30 p.m.