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Windsor’s Valley Maple Leafs in do or die position to land playoff slot

Some of the newest members of the Valley Maple Leafs include, from left, Blake Meech, Peter Drohan, Tristan Bowlby and Ben Kelly.
Some of the newest members of the Valley Maple Leafs include, from left, Blake Meech, Peter Drohan, Tristan Bowlby and Ben Kelly. - Contributed

WINDSOR, N.S. — The Valley Maple Leafs, Windsor’s Junior B hockey team, is up against the boards and trying to squeak their way into the playoffs — but they have a lot of serious competition ahead.

Brett Fletcher, head coach for the team, said the Leafs are not currently sitting in a playoff position, and will need to win almost every game to get there.

“We’re not out, but we’re not in a very good spot,” Fletcher said.

The Leafs play Cole Harbour two more times in the coming days, including away and at home.

They will also be playing a make-up game against Antigonish in Windsor on Jan. 23.

Fletcher said he’s hoping fans will come out to the game to give the Leafs a boost.

“Cole Harbour has been winning and pulling away, but we have some games in hand,” he said.

“We’re in Windsor Friday night against them and then we travel to Liverpool for a very important game,” Fletcher said.

“We need every point now, moving forward, otherwise we’ll seal our own fate and be out of the playoffs.”

Fletcher said it’s a tough position for them team, this being the first time the team has had to fight so hard to get a playoff spot since forming, and might not get one at all.

The Leafs won the Don Johnson Memorial Cup in 2016.

The team has also recently filled some slots on its roster.

“Now we just have to act on it. Before, we just didn’t have enough fuel in our tanks to play a full game,” he said.

New additions include Blake Meech, Peter Drohan, Tristan Bowlby, Ben Kelly and Ian Drysdale.

“We’re in a very good position now, but we have to win every game we play,” he said. “Every game is ultimately a Game 7.”

In previous play

The Leafs were defeated by Cole Harbour during an away game on Jan. 16, 6-2. The Colts came out strong, with four goals in the first period. Stuart Kennie with the Leafs managed to score the only goal in the second and Kennie nabbed another goal at the start of the third, but it wasn’t enough for a comeback.

The Sackville Blazers and Leafs played a game of multiples of four on Jan. 11, as the Blazers went in front, scoring 4-0, only to see the Leafs come back and tie it in front of hometown fans 4-4. But the Blazers rifled home four more goals in the third period meaning an 8-4 loss to the Blazers.

The Leafs outshot the Blazers 35-32, but could not come up with the necessary goals when required.

The Maple Leafs caught fire in the second period, with Drohan scoring a pair of goals on the power-play.

- With notes from Dan Boyd

Upcoming Games

Jan. 18 — Cole Harbour Colts at Valley Maple Leafs, Hants County Arena, 7:30 p.m.

Jan. 19 — Valley Maple Leafs at Liverpool Privateers, Queens Place Emera Centre, 7 p.m.

Jan. 23 — Antigonish Farmers’ Mutual Jr Bulldogs at Valley Maple Leafs, Hants County Arena, time TBD

Jan. 25 — Pictou County Scotians at Valley Maple Leafs, Hants County Arena, 7:30 p.m.

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