It took just a little extra time to load the two points on the bus but the Tigers were pleased to return from their Nova Scotia swing with their first win under their belts. Eight players figured in on the scoring but it was speedy forward, Pascal Valcourt who took first game star honours by scoring the first and last goals of the game. Near the eight minute mark of the opening frame, Francis Thibeault, after clearing the Tigers’ zone, moved the puck quickly up ice to Dylan Coffey. As he entered the Jacks’ end, Coffey made a sharp back pass to Coleton Perry who deftly moved the puck from his skates to his stick and circled to the side of the net. From there, Perry surprised all the defenders by making a nifty back pass of his own, finding Valcourt who had out-hustled the opponents to the front of the net. A quick shot over the goalie’s trapper put the Tigers in the lead which held for the rest of the period.
In the second period it was South Shore’s turn to get an early goal which tied the match at a goal apiece. However, it did not stay that way for long as Maxime Charest slid a shot past Jacks’ goalie, Mackenzie Janes only three minutes later. Charest had carried the puck out of Campbellton’s end, avoided a check along the boards and moved it ahead to Mitch Britton. Showing all kinds of patience, Britton stick-handled around a sprawling defender and made a pass on the backhand to the front of the net. Charest was waiting there unguarded and immediately shot the puck into the far corner to register his first goal as a Tiger. Charles-William Gagné also picked up an assist on the play. Again though, the lead was short-lived as South Shore notched the equalizer before the end of the period.
The Jacks gave their fans more to cheer about when they grabbed the lead at near the five minute mark in the third. That goal seemed to stir up the Tigers as they responded with a pair within the next two minutes. The first came after Charest carried the puck into the Jack’s end, circled the net and passed in front to Gagné. Janes made the save on Gagné’s attempt but couldn’t control the puck which was swept into the net by Britton for his first tally in Tiger colours. Less than a minute later, on a power play, the Tigers controlled the play in South Shore’s end. Pierre-Luc Lurette, on his second attempt at the net within seconds, wristed a shot which found its way through the crowd in front and into the twine. Gagné and Britton assisted. Campbellton’s lead held until close to the fifteen minute mark when the Jacks’ forward, Joe Bouchard got his first of the season to send the game into extra time.
The Tigers started the OT with a four on three man advantage because a South Shore player had drawn a slashing penalty with fifteen seconds left in regulation time. After Janes and the Lumberjacks battled hard and turned all early attempts aside, Valcourt eventually ended the game by picking up a rebound off the back boards and ricocheting a shot off the goalie and into the net for the game winner. Thibeault and Lurette picked up assists on the play.
Mitch Britton was named the game’s third star and Tristan Gray made twenty-two saves for the win.
The Tigers next game will be in Miramichi on Saturday, Sept. 22nd.