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Valley Maple Leafs in must-win situation tonight


WINDSOR, N.S. — The fifth game of the East Hants Penguins-Valley Maple Leafs Fred Fox Division semi-final in Windsor Feb. 27 was a classic playoff game with everything from absolutely sensational goaltending and strong defensive play from both sides to a disputed winning goal.

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When all was said and done, the Penguins left Windsor with a 2-1 win and a 3-2 series lead.

The teams are headed for Lantz March 1, where East Hants hopes to knock last year’s Atlantic Junior Champions out of playing any additional hockey this spring.

On Feb. 27, the Leafs scored their only goal of the game 2:03 into the opening period as Nathan Clarke connected on a pass from Isaac Bridge.

East Hants outshot the Leafs 14-13 in the first period.

It was the second period when Penguins' goaltender Ryan Huestis returned to his Game 1 style of play, blocking all 20 Leafs shots directed at him. The Penguins only mustered eight shots at Christopher Clokie, with Mark Vokey, on a pass from Lucio Williams, scoring to tie the game.

The Valley held a 33-22 advantage in shots after two periods.
The third period began with the Leafs continuing their second period domination. East Hants started to play much sharper after the five minute mark, despite playing two men short-handed for 53 seconds in which the Leafs buzzed all around the Penguins net but had trouble getting quality shots on Huestis.

It appeared the game was destined to go to overtime, but with 11 seconds remaining on the clock, Vokey let a wrist shot go from the side board and it beat Clokie. The Leafs disputed the game winner but to no avail.
The Maple Leafs will be pushing hard for a win on March 1 so they could host a seventh and deciding game March 3.

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