AMHERST – Bryan Grue scored three minutes into overtime to lift the CEC Cougars to a 5-4 win over the ARHS Vikings in Northern Nova Scotia High School Hockey League action here Saturday.
Michael Kennedy added an assist on the winning goal as Vikings’ goalie Evan MacKenzie made two stops on the play, but Grue was left alone at the side of the goal and scored the winner.
Amherst rallied with two late goals in the third period to force overtime.
Andrew Skinner scored on a shorthanded breakaway with eight minutes to go to pull Amherst to within a goal before Skinner tied the game with 33 seconds left to play when his shot beat Cougars’ goalie Sebastien Gibson under the crossbar.
Matthew Beal and Stephen Belyea added assists.
Kennedy had two goals for CEC while Richard MacNevin and Tyler Lynds each had singles.
Skinner had three goals for Amherst while Beal also scored. Joel Boyle added an assist.
Amherst outshot CEC 28-22.
The teams were tied 1-1 after one period and CEC led 3-2 after two.
“We just couldn’t get any bounces,” said head coach Wayne MacKenzie. “The boys worked hard and tied it up at the end, went into over time and (the other team) squeaked one in at the end.”
Coming away from the loss, MacKenzie said there are a few things the team is going to work on to come back stronger for their next game.
“We have to work on some cardio and power play to be a little bit stronger on the power play,” he said. “We did play aggressive but on the power play, we need to slow it down and get one good shot to put the puck in the net.”
Amherst returns to action on Friday, Dec. 28, when the Vikings host the Eastern Shore Schooners in an exhibition game at the stadium.
The Vikings last played the Schooners at a tournament in the Annapolis Valley earlier this season. It was after that game that two parents with the Schooners’ were killed in a traffic accident near Wolfville.
(With files from Jocelyn Turner)