Play­offs un­der­way

Valley Journal Advertiser - - NEWS -

in and now we’re fo­cused on our first round match up with Spry­field. They are a fast, skilled team that can burn you if you’re not on your game,” said Lyt­tle.

“We will need to play ex­actly the way we did in our last game if we want to have suc­cess in the play­offs. That’s what hockey will be like for us from here on out.”

Due to the top-place fin­ishes, the Jaguars and River Rats both earned first round byes in the play­offs.

The River Rats will face off against the Spry­field At­tack in a Best of Seven league semi­fi­nal be­gin­ning this week.

The At­tack elim­i­nated the Bed­ford Wolver­ines in an open­ing round Best of Five se­ries last week.

The At­tack is a team that the River Rats beat in all six reg­u­lar sea­son con­tests, outscor­ing them 25-18. Five of the six games saw the River Rats win by a sin­gle goal, in­clud­ing a 4-3 win in a shoot-out. The only game not de­cided by a sin­gle goal was a 6-4 win. ers that have been with the team over the past few sea­sons and def­i­nitely un­der­stand what play­off hockey is about,” said Lyt­tle, adding Lo­gan Cleve­land is also a very re­li­able per­former on the ice.

“These three have been a dom­i­nant pres­ence up the mid­dle for us this year.”

Whid­den led the team in scor­ing, con­nect­ing for 18 goals and 21 as­sists for 39 points. Avard scored 15 times and col­lected eight as­sists for 23 points while Cleve­land net­ted 18 and helped out on 13 oth­ers for 31 points.

“All of our games in the play­offs will be close... whether we have the lead or we’re down,” said Lyt­tle. “We need to just play. We can’t be too high if we’re up or low if we’re down. Fo­cus on our game and com­pete ev­ery shift, I think the re­sults will come if we do that.”

Carter McMullin is the start­ing goal­tender and Kyle Armswor­thy is the back-up. Lyt­tle is pleased by the per­for­mance of both net- min­ders.

“Carter has been a key ad­di­tion for us af­ter com­ing from Liver­pool and has played very well for us down the stretch, pick­ing up big wins and post­ing some solid num­bers,” said Lyt­tle.

McMullin fin­ished the sea­son with a 2.35-goals against av­er­age and a .930 save per­cent­age.

As for Armswor­thy, Lyt­tle said he also came to the River Rats from Liver­pool.

“(Armswor­thy) has brought val­ued lead­er­ship to our young group. He leads by ex­am­ple and is a per­fect role model for our younger guys,” said Lyt­tle.

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