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Bantam Sons find redemption against Wolves

By: Randy Pascal – Playback

 | Jan 24, 2014 - 3:37 PM |
After dropping a 5-3 decision to the Sudbury Minor Bantam AAA Wolves one week ago at the Carmichael Arena, the Sons were leaving nothing to chance in the rematch Tuesday night in Chelmsford.

After dropping a 5-3 decision to the Sudbury Minor Bantam AAA Wolves one week ago at the Carmichael Arena, the Sons were leaving nothing to chance in the rematch Tuesday night in Chelmsford.

More often than not, the Nickel City Minor Bantam AAA Sons have had the number of their crosstown rivals.

But after dropping a 5-3 decision to the Sudbury Minor Bantam AAA Wolves one week ago at the Carmichael Arena, the Sons were leaving nothing to chance in the rematch Tuesday night in Chelmsford.

Nickel City looked solid from start to finish, capitalizing with a pair of first-period goals and showing a complete commitment to team defence in posting a 3-0 shutout over the Wolves.

The homeside took advantage of a power play to open the scoring midway through the opening frame as a point drive from Eric Rainville produced a rebound that went directly to Ryan Fournier, staring at an open net.

Nickel City doubled the lead less than three minutes later as Bailey Therrien completed a picture-perfect three-way passing play, left with a simple tap-in after a pair of great passes from Brady Maltais and Jordan Spadafore.

With the lead intact, the Sons would focus on defence, allowing netminder Connor Sauvé to get a really good look at the majority of the 23 saves he would make in posting the whitewash.

Nickel City put the game out of reach at 5:42 of the third period, as Therrien slid a seeing-eye pass across to Shane Poitras, with the talented young sniper going top shelf on Sudbury goalie Allisa Hitchen, roofing his 21st goal of the year.

"They beat us the last time we played, so we wanted to get some redemption," said Poitras after the game. "We went out there for three periods, played well, and our goalie got a nice shutout."

While much of the emphasis, for this particular set of Nickel City talent, has surrounded the offensive acumen of the team over the years, Poitras believes the blue-line corps contributed in a big way on Tuesday.

"Our defence didn't just rim the puck around," he said. "They made a lot of plays, moving the puck to the forwards so that we could get out of our zone."

Poitras is one of a handful of speedy Sons' forwards, not necessarily blessed with a ton of size, having to adjust to an ever-changing game.

"The style of play has changed because the jump from major peewee to minor bantam is a big step," said Poitras, one of several members of the Sons who formed the core of a silver-medal-winning team at the All-Ontario Championships last April.

"The hockey is a lot more physical. Kids are starting to grow a lot more this year, and it's faster. As ice gets taken away with the guys getting bigger, I just have to look for more linemates more often and just be hard on the puck," Poitras said.

"I can't play non-physical hockey."

The Sons, who hold a comfortable lead of more than 20 points atop league standings, are back in action this weekend, at home to the North Bay Trappers for a three-game set in Levack.

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