WINDSOR, N.S. — Having already lost to the Spryfield Attack by a score of 8-3 at home this season, the Avon River Rats knew their Oct. 14 contest would not be easy.
The River Rats were right, but they came away with a hard-fought 9-8 shoot-out win.
Parker Connors opened the game’s scoring for the River Rats only 33 seconds into the first period. Kyle Armsworthy made it 2-0 before the Attack replied to make the score 2-1. Samuel Plourde connected to put the Rats up 3-1 before the teams exchanged goals, the fourth one for the Rats coming off the stick of Devon Pennell. It marked his first goal of three on the evening.
The scoring did not slow down in the second as Justin MacLellan made it 5-2. Spryfield countered to make it 5-3. Pennell scored two more goals, giving the River
Rats a 7-4. The Attack kept grinding and scored two goals, one with only one second left in the second period. The River Rats led 7-6 entering the third period.
The Attack tied it 7-7 early in the third before Evan Strickland put the River Rats back in front. Spryfield tied it with less than four minutes to play, forcing overtime. Neither team could score in the overtime period. It took a shoot-out before the River Rats came away with the winner.
They remain tied with the Eastern Shore Thunder for first place in the Nova Scotia Regional Junior Hockey League.
The Avon River Rats will be playing two huge games over the next week. They are going to attempt to overtake the Eastern Shore Thunder for sole position of first place with a game Oct. 21. They play at home, Oct. 29, for a 7 p.m. start against the Thunder.
As of press time, the Thunder had a 5-1-0-0 record and the River Rats were sitting at 5-3-0-0. Spryfield was a point back with a 4-0-0-1 record.