Important win for Valley Keith’s

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Junior C team fighting for final playoff spot in West division

An overtime shootout gave the Valley Keith’s an important 5-4 victory Sunday over the visiting Yarmouth Mariners. The game was the second of two makeup games over the Christmas holidays, and the Keith’s victory maintains the team’s lead over South Shore Wild in a fight for the last playoff spot.

The Keith’s downed the Wild 5-4 in OT in a road game Dec. 20, despite being outshot 53-33. On the same road trip, the Keith’s lost 6-1 to the Mariners Dec. 21 in Yarmouth.

But the Mariners must have been surprised Sunday when they were consistently outplayed for three regulation periods and one five-minute overtime.

Only some outstanding goaltending from Sam White kept Yarmouth from falling several goals behind.

In a five-man shootout following the scoreless overtime, the Keith’s got goals from Eric Banks and Colan Cromwell, while goalie Steve Morse stopped all but one Yarmouth shot.

Yarmouth opened scoring in the first period when Matt Wood slipped a shot past Morse at 3:39. Just over a minute and a half later, Devon Bezanson replied for the Keith’s, with assists to Andrew Verran and team captain Eric Cook.

Yarmouth was playing a man short because of a penalty when Jason Jacquard got a breakaway at 12:46 and ripped the puck above Morse’s shoulder for the Mariners’ last lead of the game.

Tyler Robertson scored for the Keith’s at 8:24, with an assist to Cook, and then Cook scored at 5:34 of the third period. Assists went to Verran and Bezanson.

Yarmouth’s Brandon Goudey spoiled the chances of a regulation time win with his unassisted goal at 2:16 and although the Keith’s maintained almost constant pressure, they were unable to finish off the Mariners.

Keith’s spokesman Justin Wood said the two makeup games were important for both teams. Yarmouth had won both meetings earlier in the season, a 4-3 win in Yarmouth and a blowout in Digby.

Yarmouth has played between five and seven games less than the other teams in the West division.

Organizations: Mariners, Eric Banks, West division

Geographic location: Yarmouth, OT, Digby

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