Competition Intensifies on Day Two, Dartmouth Claim Final Berth
Day Two at the Major Midget Atlantics saw all teams finally enter the win column and fans start paying attention to the standings board.
Thanks to a quick start, the Kensington Wild jumped out to an early lead and eventually blanked the St. John’s Maple Leafs 3-0 in the opening match of the day. PEI’s Taylor Read was the offensive sparkplug with a pair of snipes on the way to Player of the Game (POG) honors. Brendan Shea also scored for the Wild. Luke Oliver earned the shut-out between the Wild pipes. MacKenzie Janes (St. John’s POG) delivered a strong effort in the Maple Leafs cage, but the Blue and White artillery failed to hit their target very often in this match. The Leafs failed to score on seven power play opportunities and struggled with their consistency, only carrying the edge in play in the middle frame.
A 6-4 nail-biting victory in Game 5 by the St. John’s Global Warranty Privateers over the Saint John Vitos welcomed the Host to the win column. Three point efforts from Paddy Pilon (two goals, including empty-netter), Adam Nolan (POG) and Max French highlighted the Privateers attack in the very physical affair. Highly-touted prospect Anderson MacDonald shone in this one, notching a hat trick. The play-making of Alex Lafreniere and Ben Reid was also noticeable, with both earning three assists.
A convincing 6-2 win by the Steele Subaru of Dartmouth in Game 6 over the PEI Wild allowed the Nova Scotia Provincial Champs to roll their win total to three and make plans for an early rise on Championship Sunday. POG Dylan Burton’s two goal – three assist contribution in this one catapulted him to the front of the scoring race. Brock McLeod also pulled the trigger twice for Team Subaru in the chippy match. Defenseman Chris MacQuaid’s two point performance for PEI was rewarded with POG attack honors. Nova Scotia’s skill depth and special teams were once again on display in this match, feeling little doubt amongst the pundits that they are front runners after two days of competition at the Atlantics in CBS, NL.
Dubbed the Rock Match, the final game of Day Two featured the Privateers and Maple Leafs doing battle before a large crowd of avid fans. The Maple Leafs finally unleashed the offensive attack that earned them the NL League title, lighting the lamp seven times on the way to a 7-1 victory over their cross-town rivals. Two goal performance by POG Tyler Planetta and Dylan MacKenzie, and a three point effort from Tim Noble highlighted the Leafs offense. The lone Privateer marker came from the stick of POG Matt O’Leary, who continued to be a workhorse for the Host squad on the blue line. Josh Langmead earned the win in the Leafs net, while Jordan Yaremchuk and Joel Abbott shared the cage loss.
If Day One was about teams showing their Grit, then Day Two was about settling in for the Grind along the way to the Glory of Championship Sunday. In the end, “The Quest for Atlantic Best” is one of Grit, Grind, Glory.