Lumberjacks win six straight; take 2-0 series lead

BRIDGEWATER – The South Shore Jr. B Lumberjacks have won six straight playoff games and are up 2-0 in their best-of-seven divisional finals versus the Capstone Colts.

The team earned a 3-1 win over the Colts in Bridgewater March 16 in game two; after a 5-2 victory at Cole Harbour Place, March 15.

Game 3 will be played back in Shearwater March 20; Game 4 in Bridgewater, March 22. If necessary, game five will be in Shearwater March 23, followed by game six in Bridgewater March 26 and game seven, March 27 at Cole Harbour Place.

After being down 3-0 in their semifinal series, against the East Hants Penguins the Lumberjacks won game four, 6-3 March 8; game five, 3-1 March 9; game six, 4-1 on March 11 and game seven, 3-1 in Bridgewater on March 12.

Taking a look at the most recent game, game two of the series against the Colts, there was no scoring in the first. In the second, the Colts, got on the board first early in the period, but Brennan Coleman quickly responded for the home side and Nolan Greenlaw put in the eventual game winner at the 7:52 marke of the second.

Alec Howie found the back of the net late in the third to put the game away. Goaltender Kegan Greencorn stopped 33 of 34 shots in the win.

Coach Ryan Falkenham said that the team is sticking to their game plan, something that has worked for them, over this stretch.

"The adjustments we've made, we've been able to stick to those and play the game that we want to play and that shows on the ice," he said, following the win.

The team was missing Camden Pellerine, Aidan Fisher, AJ Metlej and Kyle Hopkins.

"It's tough to not have these guys, but we had a deep team. I think you saw a big game tonight by some of the guys stepping in taking on bigger roles," commented Falkenham.

Before the series, he told LighthouseNOW that the team had to get better at the start of each game. Although, they have given up the first goal in the past four games, they have come back quickly and the head coach gave kudos to the players for The Lumberjacks have given up the first goal in each of the last four games, but have been able to come back.

"I think the first game, in a smaller rink, they came out and kind of took it to us, but tonight, our first period was solid, building off the last two periods of game one," he commented.

In game one of the series, the Colts got on the board first at the 12:55 mark, but the Lumberjacks' Joe Osborne found the back of the net, late in the period to knot the score at one.

Greenlaw and Daniel Leblanc scored in the second to extend the lead. In the third, Camden Pellerine scored to make the score 4-1. The Colts would add one more, before Daniel Leblanc closed out the scoring at the 3:22 mark of the third. Greencorn stopped 26 of 28 shots in the win.

Looking ahead to the next games, Falkenham said, "as a coaching staff we know what we need to do and the adjustments we need to make including tightening up the play in our d-zone. I think the biggest thing, like I said, is to make sure we are ready to go every game."

Goaltender Kegan Greencorn has been solid in net for the Lumberjacks, having played every minute of the playoffs.

"I'm feeling good. These last six games have been big. The team has really stepped it up and we just want to keep rolling."

In the first two games of the divisional finals, he has stopped 59 of 62 shots he has faced. In the last four games of the Penguins' series he stopped 118 of 124 shots.

In the division semifinals versus the East Hants Penguins, the Lumberjacks pulled out a rare feat, overcoming a 3-0 series deficit, for the first time in the NSJHL since 2000-01.

The Lumberjacks earned a 3-1 victory in game seven, on home ice March 12, after scoring three, third period goals. In game six, they earned a 4-1 road victory March 11. In game five, they won 3-1 March 9 and in game four, it was a 6-3 win.

They had lost their first three games, losing 4-1 March 6; 3-1 on March 3 and 4-1 March 1.

Following the game seven victory, Falkenham said he felt, "amazing. I'm proud of the guys in there. I've only seen that once before where a team was down 3-0 and came back to win. It just shows what kind of players we have, what kind of men we have on this team.

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