The game of the week goes Thursday night at Don Henderson Memorial Sportsplex when the Brookfield Elks host the Sackville Blazers.
Goaltending should be the biggest feature. Riley Piercey of the Blazers is tied for the league lead in save percentage at 0.93%. He also sits 4th in goals against with a 2.79 average. That’s most impressive when you consider the league averages over 8 goals between both teams in any given game. His last outing was a 42 save performance that very nearly led to his team stealing a win from the Cole Harbour Colts, who finally squeaked out two third period goals to come from behind.
Not to be outdone, the Elks have maybe the best goalie in the league in Aaron Mantle. The former Dartmouth Major Midget goalie stopped all 10 shooters, including a sparkling glove save, to give the Elks their first win of the year during a shootout in Antigonish. Last Thursday in Brookfield I watched him
make what could be the best glove save I’ve ever seen on a breakaway against the East Hants Penguins, preserving a 5-3 win in Brookfield’s home opener.
This game could also be the tale of two teams with reversing fortunes. The Elks are looking to return to the playoffs for the first time in four years. Their first 5 games have been decided by two goals or less and they’re 1-1-1 in their last three heading into Thursday.
Sackville has been a perennial league leader, but are a modest 3-2-0-1 to start the year. They also sit an unusual 4th out of 6th in the division in goals for (23) but are .500 largely on the strength of Piercey, who’s helped them to 2nd in the entire league in goals against. Brookfield sits 3rd in the league in that category.
Just 5 points separate the two teams and Brookfield has a game at hand. With 3 points for a regulation win, this is a chance for Sackville to get some early distance from the bottom of the pack and its also the chance for the Elks to show they belong right in the thick of the division.
Game time in Brookfield is 7:30 pm.