By John DeCoste
It’s advantage Valley Wildcats following a road win to open their playoff series with the Canadian Tire Mustangs Feb. 14 in Bridgewater.
Zach Moody’s second power-play goal of the game with 12:03 remaining in the third period gave the Wildcats a come-from-behind 4-3 victory and a 1-0 lead in the best-of-five series.
Goals by Connor Hirtle and Stone Harnish staked the Mustangs to a 2-0 lead before the game was 15 minutes old.
Jeremy Parker got the Wildcats on the board with an even-strength goal at 16:43 of the first period, which ended with the Mustangs up 2-1.
Moody’s power-play marker in the opening minute of the second period tied the score 2-2. Nicholas Blanchard then found the net at 5:02 to give the Wildcats their first lead of the evening.
Jamie Blair’s power-play goal tied the score at three with 6:47 remaining in the second period. Moody had the only goal of the final 20 minutes.
Jonathan Boutin turned in a solid effort in the Valley goal, turning aside 37 of 40 shots. Cole Skinner stopped 20 of 24 in the Mustangs’ goal.
Game 2 of the series is Thursday evening in Bridgewater, with Game 3 and, if necessary, Game 4 in Berwick Saturday evening at 8 and Sunday afternoon at 2.