The Valley Wildcats claimed a 4-2 victory March 10 to take a 1-0 lead over the Yarmouth Mariners in the best-of-three playoff mini series.
Port Williams native John Deacon got the Wildcats off to an early start with a goal midway through the first period to make it 1-0. The goal, assisted by Nick Bruce and Jeremy Butterworth, was the only scoring in the first period of play.
The line of Mike Molloy, Anthony Cardinal and Mitchell Jones were responsible for three of the Wildcats goals. Molloy picked up a goal 48 seconds into the second period off the sticks of Cardinal and Jones, then came back for a second goal late in the second period - the eventual game winner - with assists going to Cardinal and Jones again.
Danny Wicks picked up a marker for Yarmouth midway through the second period, while Justin Rasmussen had a power play goal seven minutes into the third period to round out the Mariners' scoring.
An empty net goal in the dying seconds of the third period by Cardinal, with Molloy getting an assist, made it a 4-2 game for Valley.
"Mikey (Molloy) had a great night," said Valley head coach Nick Greenough. "We usually don't look to him to put the puck in the net, but he did it tonight. That line was responsible for three of our goals - normally, we look to them as a defensive line. This just shows that we're giving this our all."
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Terming it a "good first playoff game," Valley won't get to rest on its laurels for long. Yarmouth will travel to Kentville March 11 for game two of the series, and Greenough says that the Valley squad will be prepared.
"They're a real veteran team and we know they're going to come prepared. We know they're going to come up and play hard," he said of the Yarmouth squad.
Wildcats goalie, Blade Mann-Dixon, stopped 49 of the 51 shots he faced between the pipes. Valley was outshot 51-31.
"It was a real good game, real exceiting, and a lot of back and forth," added Greenough. "We were able to capitalize on a couple of great chances and Blade Mann-Dixon played great for us."
View a live blog from the March 10 game at KingsCountyNews.ca
The puck will drop at 7:30 p.m. in Kentville on March 11. Join KingsCountyNews.ca for a live blog of the game and tweet using hashtag #wildcats2014 to join the discussion.