Jr. Pens season comes to an end in loss to Sackville

Online First Sports

LOWER SACKVILLE: Sackville Blazers goalie Jesse Sumarah was the kryptonite for the East Hants Junior Penguins’ high scoring offence.

Sumarah and his Blazers eliminated the Penguins in game six of the best-of-0seven Fred Fox Division final, advancing to the NSJHL final with a 5-3 victory on March 29 at the Sackville Arena.

Pens head coach Laurie Isenor said the loss was a tough one to take after a hard fought series.

That’s what happens when you run into a hot goaltender,” said Isenor.

And hot was Sumarah. He turned aside 48 of 51 pucks to snag the win for his Blazers.

“I thought we deserved better in the second round but have to give to Sackville credit for the way they played and especially their goaltending,” he said. “It’s very tough when you out shoot a team by 25 shots every game and still lose the series.”

Isenor said he was happy with the way the team performed and represented the community.

“Having said that we felt all along that we had a team that could make a run at a championship banner so losing in the second round is very disappointing,” said Isenor. “We had a high scoring team this year with some very talented forwards and a solid goaltender in Huestis. I’m happy with the work ethic and compete level, but disappointed with the result.”

In game six, Sackville led 3-2 after the first after scoring the games first two goals and seeing East Hants rally.

Ryan Huestis prepares for the game. (Healey photo)

The Pens actually had the game’s first goal off the stick of Matt Perruzza, however the referee ruled it no goal saying the net was off before it went in. The net was still on and it came off after the puck crossed.

Evan McHenry had a goal and an assist, while Matt Perruzza and Kris Jansen had single tallies.

Ryan Huestis stopped 24 of 28 shots in the loss.

Isenor said the fan support was great especially in playoffs.

“The Igloo was loud and the team fed off that,” he said.

It was the last game for players Matt Perruzza; goalie Ryan Huestis; and Kyle Randall as they aged out of junior hockey. Peruzza is set to go play Division 2 in Sweden next year.

“I can’t say enough good things about them,” said Isenor. “You cannot replace a Matt Perruzza, Ryan Huestis or Kyle Randall, as players or as people.”

He said the coaching staff will take a couple weeks off, and then began recruiting for the 2019-2020 season.

The Pens watch the play. (Healey photo)