By John DeCoste
It wasn’t two wins, but it was the closest thing to it, and at this point in the season, the Kings Mutual Bantam Wildcats will gladly take it.
Kings Mutual picked up three of a possible four points from their Feb. 2-3 weekend, and while it didn’t improve their place in the standings, it was a move forward.
The Wildcats skated to a 5-5 tie with the Mobil 1 Barons on Feb. 2 in Berwick, then built on the positives from that game in a 7-3 win over Nova Jr. X-men on Feb. 3.
The weekend results improved Kings Mutual’s record to 12-10-6 for 30 points, three ahead of seventh-place Nova and four behind the sixth-place Barons.
On Feb. 2, Cody Burghardt’s tenth goal of the season with 1:31 on the clock tied the score at five and earned the Wildcats a point for their effort.
The teams were tied 2-2 after one period, with Drake Batherson and Dylan Taylor scoring for the Wildcats and Alexander Arab and Keegan Gauthier replying for the Barons. Arab’s and Taylor’s goals both came on the power play.
Mobil 1 jumped out to a 4-2 lead on second period goals by Matt Green and Kynan Berger before Josh MacMillan replied for Kings Mutual on the power play.
In the third period, Taylor’s second goal of the game in the opening minute tied the score for a second time. Cody Grant gave the Barons back the lead five minutes later, setting the stage for Burghardt’s late heroics.
Dylan Taylor ended up with two goals and an assist, MacMillan and goal and two assists and Dylan Riley three assists, while Burghardt and Batherson each added a goal and an assist.
The following day, the Bantam game went ahead, even though the Midget game scheduled to follow it ended up postponed due to the weather.
The Wildcats made the best of the opportunity, scoring five times in the third period to snap a 2-2 tie at the end of two periods.
Dawson MacLean opened the scoring for the X-men before the game was two minutes old, but a little over three minutes later, at 5:07, Batherson got Kings Mutual on the board with a power play marker for a 1-1 tie at the end of the first period.
The teams also traded goals in the second, with Burghardt’s shorthanded goal at 4:34 giving the Wildcats the lead and James Walker tying the score again at 10:24.
The third period saw six goals scored, five of them by the Wildcats.
Josh Foster made it 3-2 Wildcats 4:57 into the period, and Batherson added the eventual game-winner, his second goal of the game, at 11:12.
Burghardt’s second of the game made it 5-2 before Joshua Stewart’s power play goal brought the X-men back to within two. Not to be denied on this occasion, Kings Mutual added to its lead with goals from Riley at 17:54 and Taylor’s third goal of the weekend with 56 seconds left.