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Cobras drop game after staying even for two periods - Dec. 18, 2013


Brian Mumford/Courier
Anders Blizzard tries to stuff the puck home in the Cobras 8-5 loss to the Hampton Hurricanes on Saturday night. The Cobras next home game is Saturday, when they host the Tri-County River Rats at 8 p.m.

Brian Mumford
Blacks Harbour
The first two periods featured a tight battle. Going into the third period tied at four, Fundy and Hampton both just needed to win that one period to capture a win.
Hampton claimed the third period, and the game, equalling their goal production from the previous two periods on the way to posting an 8-5 win.
A win represented an opportunity to jump the Hampton Hurricanes in the standings, and it seemed Hampton was likely aware of that fact as they headed out for the final frame.
The Hurricanes took the lead in the third period just 57 seconds in. The Hurricanes scored their remaining three goals before the halfway mark of the period, effectively putting the game out of reach.
The first two periods told a different story from the third period, when the Cobras were outgunned.
Those two frames were tight checking with nearly even time of possession, and solid defensive play. The tight play provided chances for two skilled Cobras to impact the score sheet, and they didn’t miss. Blake Ross and alternate captain Jeff Brown both had a pair of goals, and captain Brandon Barrett notched a marker as well in the third period.
Afterwards, 19-year-old left winger Tyler Saunders said the game was the Cobras to lose heading into the third period tied at four goals apiece.
“The boys came out pretty strong in the first two periods and kept up with them, but in the third period we lost our edge and they just took advantage of it,” said Saunders. “The boys were feeling it at the start of the game, but in the third period I think they just came out with the wrong mindset.”
The loss didn’t decrease Saunders’s confidence in his team, however. After winning both games in a weekend road trip the previous weekend, he’s feeling good about the progress of the formative junior team, despite allowing four goals in the first half of the third period.
“We’re starting to keep up with the rest of the league now, starting to put up a couple W’s and hopefully we can do more of it,” said Saunders.
None of the Cobras had any experience in the NBJHL coming into this season, but now they all have some. After gaining that experience, Saunders said his team has the talent to win consistently in the league.
“Every team had the talent to do it (win). It basically comes down to whether the boys want to put it together that night.”
One player, however, is still just gaining that experience. Eighteen-year-old right winger Nick Bell is the newest addition to the Cobras, with Saturday night being his third game. Still, he’s impressed with the quality of the team.
“Everyone sticks together, everyone looks out for one another, and that makes it easy to go out and have fun playing hockey,” said Bell. “I think we were a little off but there’s always next game.”
The latest loss gives the Cobras a record of 5-13 so far in their first season in the New Brunswick Junior Hockey League. Following a string of losses to open the season, the Fundy Cobras have now won two of their last three games.
The Cobras will play two games in the coming weekend. On Friday they hit the road for a game against the Kent Coyotes, and then on Saturday night they host the Tri-County River Rats. The River Rats are 8-6 so far this season.
The Cobras home game begins at 8 p.m. on Saturday night at Fundy Arena in Blacks Harbour.

brianmumford@stcroixcoruier.ca