ATLANTIC RINGS IN NEW YEAR WITH FIRST WIN
by Wendy Graves
SYDNEY, N.S. – In a battle of winless teams, it was Atlantic prevailing 4-3 over Germany in a New Year’s Day matinee at Centre 200. Atlantic (1-2) extended its unbeaten streak against Germany (0-4) to six games at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.
Both teams were coming off lopsided losses the day before and came into the game looking for a better result.
Atlantic opened the scoring just over two minutes in when Lane Cormier (Hopewell, N.S./Pictou County, NSMMHL) buried a rebound glove side on German netminder Michael Boehm, but Germany tied it 29 seconds later. After Tobias Eder was stopped on a breakaway, the Germans kept pressing and eventually Jakob Mayenschein found the back of the net.
Goals were scored in a rapid succession again later in the period. An outstanding play by Nathan Noel (St. John’s, N.L./Saint John, LHJMQ) led to Atlantic’s second goal. While on the penalty kill, Noel skated with the puck from his own blue line, beat the defender in the offensive zone and sent a backhand pass to Alexandre Jacob (Dieppe, N.B./Moncton, NBPEIMMHL), who easily made it 2-1 Atlantic.
Germany tied it on the same power play 13 seconds later, when Lois Spitzner scored from the top of the crease.
After the series of quick goals in the first, things tightened up in the second, but Atlantic finally broke through late in the period. After some nice passing around the attacking zone, Jacob passed the puck behind his back to Noel at the bottom of the right face-off circle. Noel skated tight around Boehm and deposited the puck behind him for the power play marker.
Mayenschein notched his second goal of the game to tie things up 13 minutes into the third.
The pace and intensity picked up in the last five minutes. With only 3:21 remaining, Kyle Ward (Sackville, N.B./Moncton, NBPEIMMHL) fought off his man along the boards, carried the puck behind the net and scored the game-winner on a wraparound.
Germany outshot Atlantic 32-26.
The winless Germans are assured of finishing last in Group B and will play the fifth-place finisher from Group A in the ninth-place game Friday afternoon in Port Hawkesbury (2 p.m. AT). Atlantic wraps up its preliminary round against Russia back in Sydney on Thursday (2 p.m. AT).