The Maitland Pre-Novice
Ice Sharks were edged 4-2 by Quick Feet in what was a fast-paced first game of
the 2014 spring hockey season on Friday at the Walkerton Community Centre.
Nathan Garrett notched both goals in a losing cause for the Ice Sharks, with linemates Nolan Edmonstone and Jaren Pirie each providing two assists.
“Considering this was our first outing as a team and we were facing an opponent that has already had a couple of games under its belt this season, not to mention played together all of last spring, the coaching staff couldn’t be more proud of the effort put forth by each and every one of our kids,” said Ice Sharks head coach Jason Pirie.
Trailing 3-0 entering the third period, the never-say-die Ice Sharks, who had been stymied over the first two periods - ringing a pair of shots off the post and missing another which sailed just over the crossbar - were finally able to solve the Quick Feet goaltending.
Garrett provided Maitland with its first goal of the season when he ripped a shot high glove from the slot at the 9:34 mark of the third period. The winger then wasted no time getting the Ice Sharks within a goal when, 54 seconds later, he skated out of the corner unscathed and tucked the puck backhand between the legs of the Quick Feet goaltender to make it a 3-2 game.
With Maitland's stalwart netminder Braden McKinnon pulled for the extra attacker with under a minute to play, the Ice Sharks had Quick Feet pressed in their zone and did everything but bury the equalizer in the late stages of the contest. Quick Feet, though, eventually sealed the win with an empty net goal with only 1.8 seconds left on the clock.
“If there is one thing our team can take away from tonight’s loss it’s that at this level you have to skate for the entire game,” said Pirie. “There was a five-to-10 minute stretch in the second period where the legs stopped moving a bit, which in the end was probably the difference in the outcome. But, overall, there were a lot more positives than negatives for our group tonight and that’s a great sign as we move forward.”
The Pre-Novice Ice Sharks next host the Collingwood Blue Thunder in Owen Sound on Wednesday. Game time at the Julie McArthur Regional Recreation Centre is 7 p.m.