The Canton Golden Bears Varsity Boys Hockey team picked up a league win against Thousand Islands on Friday night, 4-3.
Canton started off very quickly and pinned TI in their own zone for the two opening shifts, but suffered thereafter when they quickly found themselves stuck in their own zone unable to break out. This eventually wore down the Bears, and Thousand Island netted two goals in two minutes. Canton settled down and started to play better, and then got a penalty call to go on the powerplay. Kaden Baxter scored when Rhett Palmer passed to Reid Doyle, who passed to Baxter across the point for a goal. The Bears ended the first only down 2-1, although shots were 13-4.
Canton had a better second period, and Baxter had yet another power play goal on a pass from Rhett Palmer. Canton had tied the game up at two, and needed a strong performance to continue their success. They worked hard, and were rewarded for their efforts when Bradly Frank won an offensive zone draw back to JJ Ahlfeld, who passed across the blueline to Scotty Ahlfeld, whose shot oozed past the TI goaltender for the third goal of the game. Thousand Islands was quick to retaliate when a penalty on Canton led to a well executed back door goal to tie at three. Canton saw improvements from the first period in the second, but still could not score. The period ended 3-3.
The third period was a nail biter for everybody who watched the game in the freezing cold. Canton’s Rhett Palmer had the only goal of the third, only 55 seconds in when a breakout pass from Scott Ahlfeld went to Jonney McLear, who dished it to Palmer. Palmer carried it around the net uncontested and roofed it on the TI goalie. Canton held a narrow 4-3 lead for the rest of the game, and spent most of the period inside their own zone.
Canton continues to have trouble getting the puck out of their zone, and TI was set up for most of the period. Canton held the line against the relentless TI forwards, and killed off a penalty against the best powerplay that Canton has seen all year. The puck continued to find the stick of a Thousand Island shooter, and blocks from the skaters and saves from Hayden Todd the goaltender kept the puck out of the Canton net. Excellent defensive play won the Bears the game and when the clock ran out it was the Bears with a 4-3 win.
Canton will play next weekend in the annual Massena Tournament.