Midget AAA Atlantics start with pair of overtime games

Eric McCarthy
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McCue gives host Regals 3-2 win

ALBERTON -- If the first two games of the Atlantic Midget AAA hockey championship tournament are to be any indication, fans are in for lots of close games at Jacques Cartier Arena in Alberton this weekend.

Both games played Thursday night to open the tournament were tied 2-2 at the end of regulation time. Chase McCue scored on the powerplay 23 seconds into a five-minute overtime to give the host Western Regals a 3-2 win over the St. John’s Marshalls who saw 1-0 and 2-1 leads slip away.

The game between the Bedford NS Blues and Saint John NB Warriors remained tied, thereby giving the host team the early lead in the five-team tournament.

The Nova Scotia-New Brunswick game was moved to Tignish Thursday night after a Confederation Bridge closure prevented the teams from arriving in time for their scheduled 4 p.m. game in Alberton.

Because of re-jigging of the schedule, Team PEI, the Mid-Isle Matrix didn’t get to play Thursday. They will end up playing two games Friday and two on Saturday to catch up.

“That was a pretty big goal for me. First ever time in the Atlantics, scoring an overtime goal, first game. It felt pretty good,” admitted a reserved McCue after scoring the game winner. He also picked up two assists in the win and the Regals player of the game award.

Grant Nolan was player of the game for the Marshalls.

“I was just coming down the wing,” McCue said in describing his powerplay goal. “My center man, TJ Shea, took it around the net and my other winger told me to force the net. He was supposed to go but I took it. Just a lucky bounce: It came right out to my stick. People were whacking at it and I just got lucky and hit it and it went right through his five-hole.”

The Marshalls scored a short-handed goal just 1:21 into the contest when Daniel Rice intercepted a pass right at his own blueline and skated in unmolested on Regals goaltender Avery Arsenault.

The Regals Jake Arsenault from McCue and Jeff Gaudet tied the game 49 seconds into the second period.

Michael Zurel restored the Marshalls’ lead with an unassisted goal with three seconds remaining in the second period.

The Regals forced OT with a Jeff Gaudet goal from McCue and Shea 1:58 into the final period.

Regals coach Brett Corcoran said the Marshalls lived up to expectations. “They’re a big, physical team with a lot of skill up front,” he soon discovered. “They played a pretty good game; it could have went either way, really.”

In Tignish, the game was scoreless after the first 15 minutes and the Warriors led 2-1 at the second intermission. Goal scoring information was not available. Tommy Kingston was in goal for the Warriors and Brendan Cregan tended goal for the Blues. Players of the game were Kingston for the Warriors and Jack Gallant for the Blues.

All remaining games are slated for the Jacques Cartier Arena. There are five games on the schedule for Friday, spaced two and a half hours apart and starting with the Matrix taking on the Blues at 9:30 a.m. 

Organizations: Marshalls, Mid-Isle Matrix

Geographic location: Tignish, Alberton

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