AMHERST – Andrew Skinner's second period goal proved to be the winner and Evan MacKenzie turned aside 26 shots as the Amherst Regional High School Vikings defeated the Northumberland Nighthawks in the opening game of their best-of-three NSSAF high school hockey series here Friday.
Skinner broke a scoreless tie when he got by a Nighthawks defenceman and lifted a shot over goalie Robbie Jones with just over five minutes to play in the second period. Joel Boyle added an assist on the goal.
"We've been phenomenal at home all season and this game was the biggest game we've played all year," Vikings' assistant coach Nick Porter said after the game. "We skated hard and played the body. They were on the ball and there was no worries that we were going to get at least one goal."
MacKenzie wasn't busy,but when he was tested he was ready making several big saves during a five-on-three Nighthawks power play in the second and another man advantage late in the third.
Amherst can win the series on Saturday night in Trenton against the Nighthawks. A win advances the Vikings directly to the Division 2 provincial tournament being hosted by Northumberland.
Game 3, if necessary, is back in Amherst next Friday night.