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The losses the Summit Hyundai Valley Wildcats have suffered so far this season can literally be counted on the fingers of one hand, but one of them came in their first game of the post-Christmas portion of their season on Jan. 5 in Dartmouth.
Valley, runaway first-place leaders in the NSMMHL, won 28 of their first 32 games, but second-place Dartmouth, 15 points behind entering the game, managed to get the best of the Wildcats on this occasion, winning in overtime by a 4-3 score.
Makail Parker opened the scoring with the only goal of the opening period to give Valley a 1-0 lead.
Nick Blanchard then made it 2-0 with a power play goal early in the second period before Alex MacDonald got Dartmouth on the board with 6:58 left in the period.
Blanchard’s second goal of the game – and league-leading 37th goal of the season – made it 3-1 Wildcats with 1:39 remaining in the second.
The third period scoring was all from Dartmouth, with goals from Nathan Sheppard and Lawrence Lyver within a minute of each other, tying the score at three.
Jordan Wentzell then netted the winner with 1:12 remaining in the overtime period.
Valley ended up with a 25-23 edge in shots on goal, with both Michael Pettet and Aaron Mantle required to put in 3:48 of extra time in their respective nets.
The loss left the Wildcats with 28 wins, two regulation time losses, one shootout loss and two overtime losses for 59 of a possible 66 points from their 33 games.
All the NSMMHL teams took Jan. 9-13 away from their league schedule to take part in the inaugural Chronicle-Herald East Coast Ice Jam, an 18-team tournament in Bedford featuring teams from all four Atlantic Provinces.