By John DeCoste
The Kings Mutual Major Bantam Wildcats picked up three of a possible four points from a pair of road games on the Dec. 8-9 weekend.
After skating to a 2-2 tie with the Bubba Rays Gulls Dec. 8 at the Halifax Forum, Kings Mutual scored a 5-1 win over Pro Hockey Life Harbour Storm Dec. 9 at the Shannon Arena.
The weekend results improved the Wildcats’ record to 7-6-5 for 19 points, good –temporarily, at least – for sole possession of sixth place in the NSMBHL, two points ahead of Newbridge Senators and just one behind fifth-place Mobil 1 Barons.
Against the Bubba Rays, Cody Burghardt opened the scoring with the only goal of the first period. After a scoreless second, Drake Batherson made it 2-0 with a power play goal early in the third.
The score remained 2-0 until Bradley Shaw scored for Bubba Rays with 4:10 left in regulation time. Then, with goalie Kirklyn Allen on the bench for an extra skater, Johnny Foley netted the tying goal with just 35 seconds on the clock.
Kate Spooner played a strong game in the Kings Mutual goal, stopping 26 of 28 shots as the Bubba Rays outshot the Wildcats 28-18.
The following afternoon, the Wildcats led 1-0 after one period, with Cole Rafuse scoring the goal. After the Harbour Storm tied the score on Joseph Petrie’s power play goal early in the second, Kings Mutual struck for four unanswered goals in the six-and-a-half minutes before the end of the period.
Dylan Taylor made it 2-1 on a shorthanded effort, Rafuse added his second of the game, Gregor MacLeod made it 4-1 and Austin Gough rounded out the scoring.
The third period was scoreless.
Wildcats’ goalie Paul Janes only faced 14 shots as Kings Mutual outshot the Harbour Storm 27-14.
After facing Truro Bearcats and ACCEL Hawks Dec. 15-16 in Berwick, the Wildcats wrap up the pre-Christmas portion of their schedule with a pair of road games against Nova Jr. X-men Dec. 22 in Port Hawkesbury and Dec. 23 in Antigonish.