© Dave Mathieson - Amherst Daily News
Amherst Colts player Nicholas Grant gets position on the puck ahead of a Barrington Ice Dog late in the third period Sunday afternoon at Amherst Stadium.
AMHERST – The 9-1-1 Barrington Sea Star Ice Dogs nipped the 4-7 Amherst Colts 7-5 during Nova Scotia Junior C Hockey League action Sunday afternoon at the Amherst Stadium.
The Colts faced off against the top team in the league and managed to keep it very close in a game highlighted by good goaltending at both ends of the ice.
Tied 2-2 after the first period and 4-4 after two periods, the Dogs ended up winning 7-5 with an empty net goal.
"We fought hard and we had our chances to tie the game,” said Grove Sutton, Colts general manager, after the game. "We were all over them late in the third trying to press for a tie."
Cody Sutton scored the first Colts goal, which was unassisted, giving them a 1-0 lead, and then Andrew Barron put the Colts up 2-0 off a pass from Devon Despres.
The Sea Dogs scored two goals late in the first, tying the game 2-2.
Justin Farrow put the Colts up 3-2 with 15:27 left in the second but the Ice Dogs tied it up 3-3. Sutton then scored his second of the afternoon, giving his team a 4-3 lead. Marshall Terrio and Gregor Dawe assisted on the Farrow goal and Farrow assisted on the Sutton goal.
Barrington scored with 5:48 left in the second, tying the game 4-4, and came out in the third and went ahead 6-4 on two early goals.
Amherst came within striking distance when Barron scored his second of the game off a pass from Terrio, but the Dogs put the game away with an empty net goal with three seconds left in the game.
Goaltender Jesse Ogden takes the loss for the Colts. Shots on goal 35-31 in favor of the Ice Dogs.
The final minutes of the game had the Colts pushing the play and keeping the Ice Dogs on their heels, but with 1:30 left in the game they were assessed two penalties, effectively putting a comeback out of reach. Larry Varga was assessed a slashing penalty and Terrio was assessed a delay of game penalty.
"A delay of game penalty in the offensive zone for pushing a net off, and a slash behind the net were very weak calls,” said Colts coach Paul Atkinson, "With 1:30 left in the game he (the referee) took the sticks right out of our hands.”
The Ice Dogs scored five power play goals in the game, and Atkinson made it clear he wasn’t impressed with the officiating.
He said is a vocal coach but added, “I respect the refereeing and do not attack any ref personally, but I will question a call or ask about a situation.
“We pay these guys good money to ref our games. This is our show, not theirs, and, to say the least, I am not impressed with the weak calls."