The Central IcePak took an early lead in its opening game Thursday at the 2014 Atlantic Major Midget Hockey Championships, but a rough second period spelled disaster in the end.
© Christopher Cameron/tcâ€¢ media
OUT FRONT â€“ Central IcePak forward Adam Dawe skates away from Saint John Vitos defenceman Matt McInnis during Thursdayâ€™s action at the Atlantic Major Midget Hockey Championship at the Wellness Centre in Pictou, N.S.
The team gave up four second-period markers, as St. Johnâ€™s Vitos from New Brunswick edged the Newfoundland and Labrador representatives 6-4 in Pictou, N.S.
Ganderâ€™s Adam Dawe started things off with a bang for the IcePak, scoring at 4:03 from Ganderâ€™s Jordan Maher and Birchy Bayâ€™s Jordan Freake.
The team held this lead until the Vitosâ€™ Jean-Michel Leblanc put one past the glove of IcePak netminder Curtis Barrett with 1:12 left on the clock.
It was Ganderâ€™s Josh Fitzgerald that put the IcePak up 2-1 late in the period, as he connected with Ganderâ€™s Graham Oldford and Harbour Bretonâ€™s Shayne Dominie with just 32 seconds remaining in the opening frame.
Things started to unravel for the IcePak early in the second period, as Adam Downey tied the score at 2-2 just 2:27 after the drop of the puck to begin the period, followed by three more unanswered goals from the Vitos over the 13 minutes. Tyler Copeland, Leblanc, with his second of the game, and Matthew Gray scored for the Vitos, who held a 5-2 advantage after two periods of play. After the Vitosâ€™ fifth goal, Barrett was replaced between the pipes by Grand Falls-Windsorâ€™s Noah Weir.
Whatever message the IcePak coaching staffed relayed to its players in the second intermission, Maher took heed.
The high-scoring forward set up Freake just 1:01 into the final frame to cut the lead to 5-3. Dawe also drew an assist on the goal.
Just over two minutes later, the Newfoundland and Labrador Major Midget Hockey Leagueâ€™s top scorer (23G, 23A) did all the work himself in closing the gap to one with an unassisted marker.
However, that would be all of a comeback the IcePak could muster, as Leblancâ€™s hat trick marker into an empty net with 16.6 seconds remaining sealed the victory for the Vitos.
The IcePak are back on the ice looking for its first win at 2 p.m. NL time Friday. Live blog action can be followed at www.ganderbeacon.ca, www.gfwadvertiser.ca, www.thenorwester.ca and www.lportepilot.ca.