AMHERST – After playing one of the strongest teams in the Nova Scotia Junior C Hockey League last weekend, the CIBC Wood Gundy Fundy Phantoms have a better chance of putting one in the win column this weekend when they face the Avon River Rats and the Oxford Colts.
“We faced the Mariners and Chester at the start of the season and those are the defending Atlantic champions and the teams that finished one, two last season,” Phantoms general manager Steve LeBlanc said. “So our schedule gets a little more favourable to us from this point on.”
The Phantoms will host the Avon River Rats Friday night at 9 p.m., and then on Saturday they travel to Oxford where they play the Colts at 8 p.m. On Sunday they’re on the road to play the River Rats.
“We split with Avon last year, winning two games each,” LeBlanc said.
“There are five or six extremely strong teams in the Junior C league and then the rest of the league is fairly well balanced, so it’s going to be a tough weekend but I expect the games to be more competitive.”
The Phantoms lost 21-0 to the Eastern Shore Mariners last Friday night at Amherst Stadium.
The Mariners scored eight goals in the first period, seven in the second and six goals in the third period. Phantoms goaltender Dylan Beaton made 53 saves on 74 shots, while his teammates had 23 shots on Mariners goaltender Chris Banfield.
“We have new guys coming to practice this week, a new defenceman and a couple of goaltenders,” said LeBlanc.
The Oxford Colts have one game on tap this weekend, when they host the Phantoms Saturday night at Oxford Stadium.
The Colt lost their home opener 5-2 to the Avon River Rats last Friday night at the Oxford Arena. Scoring two goals for the Colts was Ryan Bates. Getting the assist on Bates’ first period goal was Jordan Duggan, while Jordan McKay and Mike Latinski got assists on his second period goal. Colts goaltenders shared duties, with Jessie Ogden stopping 31 of 36 shots, and Josiah Bartlett letting in two goals on 14 shots.
His teammates had 50 shots against River Rats goaltender Anthony Bernas.