Chester Clippers down River Rats

Carole Morris-Underhill
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The visiting Chester Clippers showed no mercy when they played the Avon River Rats Nov. 9 before a large hometown crowd.

The Clippers crushed the River Rats 11-1.

“Our team did not play the way they usually play. I really don't have an answer for that yet as to why. I haven't figured it out,” said Head Coach Rick Purcell following the loss.

“(The Clippers) got a couple of weak goals at the beginning of the game and it just deflated our team way too much, way more than it should have,” he said.

Matt Lohnes opened the scoring for the Clippers just 1:07 into the first period on a pass from Justin Bowen. Alex Armstrong, from Nick Ferguson, put the Clippers up 2-0 at 2:22 in.

Defenseman Chad Greenough was the only River Rat to score during the game, and did so, unassisted, less than five minutes into the first frame.

But the scoring wasn't over for the Clippers in the first period. Jamie Blair, unassisted, scored at 5:04 in. Then Jeremy Church dumped one in to finish the first period scoring.

In the second period, the Clippers scored four more times off the sticks of Chris Mills (from Bowen), Ryan Matheson (from Jack Strowbridge), Lohnes (unassisted) and Blair (unassisted).

Finishing up the scoring in the third period were Lohnes (from Bowen), Blair (unassisted) and Church (from Blair and Niels Webb).

Ben Bailey, of the Chester Clippers, earned the win in nets, facing 27 shots and stopping 26.

Jesse Lawrence was tagged with the loss for the River Rats. Lawrence faced 54 shots in the 55 minutes and 10 seconds he played. Jacob Greenough spent just under five minutes in nets in the second frame and faced four shots.

The game was uncharacteristically fightless, with a total of 12 penalty minutes being called for the Clippers, and just six penalty minutes for the River Rats — one call in each period.

“Chester is a good team. I'll give them credit. I didn't expect to go out and beat them 5-1, but I expected a much closer game,” said Purcell.

Chester is currently in second place in the Nova Scotia Jr. C Hockey League standings, while the River Rats are currently in fifth place with a record of four wins and five losses.

“Even though this game didn't go the way it should have — the way we would have liked it — it was good hockey. The fans got to see some good hockey and they can expect a lot of better games throughout the year from the River Rats.”

The head coach said he will be working the guys hard at practice to get the team back on track before their two games this coming weekend.

“Our team is not as fast as some teams, our team is not as skilled at scoring as some teams, our team is not as tough as some teams but we have all of that mixed in,” he said. “We need to start to do a little bit more of the scoring part but also... we have to hold up our end in defence. We're backing in too much and we're giving them too many good scoring chances.”

The Avon River Rats will head to Truro Saturday night to take on the Fundy Phantoms. The River Rats edged them 4-3 in Brooklyn on Nov. 4.

On Sunday, Nov. 18, they host the South Shore Wild at 1 p.m. at the Newport District Arena.


Organizations: River Rats, Nova Scotia Junior C Hockey League, Chester Clippers

Geographic location: Windsor, Nova Scotia, Hants County Chester Brooklyn

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