Decade Kick-Off

Red Wings Awake For Key Win Over Wildcats

 The new decade kicked off nicely for the Fredericton Red Wings.

 Playing their first game of 2020, Fredericton awoke from an early slumber and skated to an entertaining 5-2 win over the visiting Valley Wildcats of Berwick, NS, in Maritime Hockey League action at the Grant*Harvey Centre.

 The Red Wings won’t have much time to enjoy the win. Fredericton hosts Campbellton Tigers Saturday at 3 p.m.

 Noah Cauchi, Ethan Stuckless, Declan MacEachern, Nathan Kelly and Riley Burtt, the latter into an empty net, scored for Fredericton.

 Jack Grant earned the win in goal, stopping 22 shots.

 Defenceman Olle Akermark had two assists and was a tower of strength on the Fredericton blueline. Burtt added a helper. Prep school call-up Sam Campbell also had two assists.

 Aaron Brunn faced 36 shots in the Valley cage. He had offensive from  Zach Falck and Carson Gallant.

 Both teams found some offence and certainly turned up the physicality in an entertaining second period, one that saw Fredericton emerge with a 3-2 lead after it appeared it may run away and hide from the Wildcats.

 Stuckless stuck home his 12th of the season on a lovely feed following an individual rush from Alex Pellerin. Pellerin wheeled and dealed into the Valley zone and hit Stuckless right on the tape, the winger making no mistake firing it home.

 MacEachern was then sprung on a breakaway after a long pass from Akermark and made a nifty deke on Brun, finding five-hole daylight for a 3-1 edge.

 The Red Wings appeared to be cruising at that point, but Gallant had other ideas. The Wildcat plucked off a pass in his own zone and went on a straight line, snapping a shot that Grant caught a piece of, but not enough to keep it out of the cage.

 The Red Wings didn’t exactly the game alarm clock in the first period and paid for it off some miscommunication behind their own goal.

 Some jostling behind Grant eventually saw Riley MacInnis fire a pass to Falck on the doorstep and he snapped one home at 4:29 for a 1-0 lead.

 The Red Wings survived three minor penalties in the opening stanza and thanks to the work of a prep school call-up, the hosts were able to tie things late.

 Campbell, the Keswick resident out of Rothesay Netherwood School, made a nice play to the left of Brunn off a Fredericton faceoff win, finding a pass into the slot to Cauchi. He made no mistake roofing a shot to Brunn’s stickside with 96 seconds left in the frame.