PORT HAWKESBURY: Bryce Reynolds and Jacob Keagan connected for two goals apiece last Friday in the Strait Pirates’ only game of the weekend, a 4-2 win over the Eskasoni Eagles.
The win — the Pirates’ six straight victory — keeps the maroon and white in first place in the Nova Scotia Junior Hockey League’s Sid Rowe Division with a 16-5-1-2 record. However, the Antigonish Bulldogs and Glace Bay Miners are hot on the Strait’s heels. The Bulldogs trail by only two points with three games in hand. With that, the Glace Bay Miners are three points back with a pair of games in hand.
Coach Taylor Lambke said he and the team are happy for the win, but the effort could have been improved.
“We didn’t play very well for 57 minutes and then found a way to score twice to make it 3-2, and then we got an empty-netter,” the coach said. “We’re happy to get the win, but it wasn’t our best game by any stretch.”
Lambke noted the Pirates played very well on January 4, their first game back after the holiday break. That game, the Strait used a three-goal first period to skate to a 6-3 road win in Liverpool.
“I thought we were building some momentum and playing the right way,” Lambke said. “Maybe we thought it would be a little easier than it was. They [Eskasoni] out worked us for quite a bit of the game.”
Reynolds (from Josh Foster) had a first period goal, but Eskasoni’s Thomas Stevens tied things up in the second period. Pirate goalie Hunter Forance allowed a second goal with 7:16 left in the third, giving the visitors a 2-1 lead.
Tying the game was Reynolds (from Foster) with 3:49 left. Keagan (from Joshua MacMillan) had the game winner with 3:12 left, and he added an empty netter (from Branden Dauphinee).
Forance stopped 20 of 22 shots, and Eagle Alexander Denny faced 35 pucks.
Lambke noted Forance had two games with the Strait this season, and he was great in each appearance.
“He stood on his head in both those games, and he’s been a welcome addition for sure,” the coach said.
This Friday night, the Pictou Scotians will be at the Civic Centre for a 7:30 p.m. start with the host Pirates.