‘Bat­tling right to the end’

Wild­cats win shootout against Dieppe


There’s no sub­sti­tute for hard work.

The Val­ley ju­nior A Wild­cats trav­elled to Dieppe, New Brunswick Feb. 19 and de­feated the home­town Com­man­dos 4–3 in a shootout. Val­ley got the win de­spite hav­ing just 13 play­ers for the game, and be­ing out shot 62–21.

“We were play­ing with a short line up, and the guys bat­tled,” says Wild­cats head coach Nick Gree­nough. “(Goal­tender Ja­cob) Ste­wart had a big per­for­mance in nets and made some big saves for us. He’s given us an op­por­tu­nity to win games, and when we’re get­ting a chance to score, we’re scor­ing.”

Val­ley was with­out five reg­u­lar starters due to in­jury and lost more bod­ies due to the flu, but play­ers stepped up to do what was needed, he added.

The Wild­cats twice took the lead on goals from Tarek Paran­ica and team cap­tain Mitchell Kreis, but Dieppe came back each time to tie the game. Late in the third, Paran­ica was pulled down be­hind the net in the of­fen­sive zone and no penalty was called. Dieppe came down the ice to score and take the lead with less than two min­utes left.

“At one point in our sea­son, our guys would have hung their heads and we would have went the other way,” says Gree­nough. “But our guys are bat­tling right to the end, and it shows a lot for the char­ac­ter of guys in our room.”

Val­ley pulled the goal­tender for an ex­tra at­tacker and Brett Tid­man scored with 10 sec­onds left to send the game to over­time. Paran­ica scored on the fi­nal shot in the shootout to give Val­ley the vic­tory.

“Each night it’s a dif­fer­ent guy be­ing a con­tributer for us right now, which is good to see,” says Gree­nough. “It’s fun to be be­hind the bench with this group right now be­cause they’re work­ing hard and they want to com­pete each night, ev­ery minute of the game.”

Gree­nough says that nev­er­give-up at­ti­tude is ex­actly what he wants to see in the locker room.

“When you have char­ac­ter on your team, you’re able to win th­ese games and battle through it. In the past we had guys like Dane Moore, Kaden Ruest, Mitchell Jones, An­thony Car­di­nal... guys like that, those char­ac­ter guys. They led the way for us when the go­ing was tough. We’re ex­cited for our guys right now, and hope­fully, we can keep get­ting some points here the rest of the sea­son.”

Play­ing spoiler, the ju­nior A Wild­cats have points in four of their last six games, and have games with two top clubs this com­ing week­end in Ber­wick. Val­ley plays a re­match against Dieppe Feb. 24 at 7 p.m., and hosts the league-lead­ing Pic­tou County Feb. 26 at 2 p.m.

“We’ve got a tough sched­ule com­ing up, but it’s good. We want to play those top teams,” Gree­nough says. “It’s a good way to eval­u­ate our play­ers mov­ing for­ward. Hope­fully we’ll have a few more bod­ies in the lineup this week­end and the points keep com­ing.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.