Vipers drop opener

Jason Simmonds
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Kensington looks to bounce back at Eastern Canadian junior B hockey championship tournament Wednesday

PORT HAWKESBURY, N.S. – It was not the start the Kensington Moase Plumbing and Heating Vipers were looking for.

Kensington Moase Plumbing and Heating Vipers defenceman Drew Coulson earned three assists in the opening game of the 2014 Don Johnson Memorial Cup Eastern Canadian junior B hockey championship tournament in Port Hawkesbury, N.S., on Tuesday afternoon.

The Vipers gave up five third-period goals in an 8-6 loss to the Nova Scotia-champion Sackville Blazers in the opening game of the 2014 Don Johnson Memorial Cup Eastern Canadian junior B hockey championship tournament.

“Losing is one thing, but we didn’t like the way we played today (Tuesday),” said Vipers head coach Wade Waddell in a phone interview with the Journal Pioneer following the game. “It wasn’t a game that they did a lot that we weren’t expecting; it’s just we never adjusted really well.”

It was the first loss of the post-season for the Vipers, who swept the semifinal and final series in the Island Junior Hockey League en route to their fifth straight and ninth provincial championship in 11 years.

The Vipers will look to bounce back on Wednesday, when they take on Newfoundland and Labrador’s Avalon Capitals at 4 p.m.

Each of the six teams, including the provincial champions from P.E.I., New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, the Casselman Vikings from Ontario and the host Port Hawkesbury Strait Pirates, will play four round-robin games. The top four teams will advance to the semifinals on Saturday, with the championship game on Sunday afternoon.

Overcome deficits

At the Port Hawkesbury Civic Centre, the Blazers overcame 2-0, 3-1 and 4-3 deficits as the Vipers held period leads of 2-1 and 4-3. However, Port Hawkesbury erupted for five third-period goals.

“We had problems right out of the gate,” assessed Waddell. “I know we were up going into the third (period), but it just wasn’t there today.

“We gave up probably more odd-man rushes than I have ever seen us give up, and our compete level was really poor, and that is usually our strength. I really wasn’t happy with the effort today.”

“We had problems right out of the gate. I know we were up going into the third (period), but it just wasn’t there today. We gave up probably more odd-man rushes than I have ever seen us give up, and our compete level was really poor, and that is usually our strength. I really wasn’t happy with the effort today.” Vipers head coach Wade Waddell

Thomas Zachary (2-1), Jordan Keizer (2), Ryan Davis (1-1), Braden Kamermans (1-1), Matthew Munro and Cody Peveril scored for the Blazers, who defeated Glance Bay in Game 7 of the Nova Scotia Junior B Hockey League championship series on Sunday.

For the Vipers, Jordan Mayhew’s four points – three goals and one assist – led the way offensively. Kyle Doucette and Jeremy Jollimore each had a goal and two helpers while Josh Bowman added a single tally.

Defenceman Drew Coulson contributed three assists. Other helpers went to Ryan Kelly and Zen Hamil.

Overall, the shots-on-goal were even 34-34. Jonathan Boutin earned the goaltending win over Grant Grady.

Each team scored two power-play goals, and Waddell admitted the Vipers are looking to improve their penalty killing.

“No question,” emphasized Waddell. “It’s not that we were undisciplined and not deserving of the penalties, it seemed like every time they were on the power play we had problems killing it.

“It was just a game we couldn’t figure out. We talked about what we were doing wrong, but we just didn’t make the adjustments.”

McQuaid starts

Waddell confirmed the Vipers will make a goaltending switch for Wednesday’s game, and Dylan McQuaid will get the start.

“The plan going in was that Grant would start the first one and Dylan would start the second one,” said Waddell. “Nothing is changing there.”

Twitter.com/JpsportsJason

Organizations: Journal Pioneer, Island Junior Hockey League, Nova Scotia Junior B Hockey League

Geographic location: Nova Scotia, Port Hawkesbury, Kensington Newfoundland and Labrador New Brunswick Ontario Glance Bay

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  • Do Jo
    April 22, 2014 - 23:24

    Dynastys dont allow 8 goals, this would never happen to the habs :D