Article by Tim Gordanier, The Kingston Whig Standard
The Picton Pirates and Port Hope Panthers, who have witnessed a heated, two-team battle for first place going on above them in Provincial Junior Hockey League Tod Division standings, appear to have stepped into a scrap of their own.
Thanks to wins in a couple of head-to-head clashes this past week, the fourth-place Panthers, who entered the week five points behind the third-place Pirates, are now just a single point in arrears.
The victories — 4-3 in Picton on Thursday night and 4-2 in Port Hope two nights later — left the Panthers with a three-game winning streak and a record of 6-6-1-0 for 13 points, good enough for fourth place. Picton sits third with 14 points (7-6-0-0).
The Napanee Raiders (12-1-0-0) and Amherstview Jets (11-2-0-0), each with wins over both the No. 5 Campbellford Rebels and No. 6 Frankford Huskies during the week, occupy the top two spots in the division.
On Thursday in Picton, the visiting Panthers scored four unanswered second-period goals to turn a 2-0 deficit into a 4-2 lead and held on for the win.
Carter Clarke scored the first and fourth Port Hope goals, with Nolan Stevenson and Camden Stickney adding the others. Owen Dever scored twice and Ben Smith once for Picton.
On Saturday night in Port Hope, Picton again led 2-0, this time after scoring a pair of goals in the opening 11 minutes of the second period, only to once again be the victim of a four-goal Port Hope run.
Stevenson netted a pair of goals, giving him a division-leading 15, while Nathan Ford and Clarke scored the others. Nate Boomhower and Noah Brant replied for Picton.
Port Hope outshot Picton 46-25 in the game, including 18-5 in the third period when the Panthers scored their final two goals.
The Panthers are back in action this Saturday (November 20) at 7:30pm against the visiting Frankford Huskies at the Jack Burger Sports Complex.