Miramichi drop Centennial Cup opener to Melfort

The Miramichi Timberwolves lost their opening game of the 2024 Centennial Cup in Oakville Ontario 4-1 to the SJHL’s Melfort Mustangs.

Melfort had the only goal of the 1st period, coming at 14:28 from Aidyn Hutchinson, and they outshot the Maritime Junior Hockey League champions 12-7 overall. A late penalty to Miramichi in the 1st period set the Mustangs up on the powerplay to start the 2nd period and Chase Friedt-Mohr scored for Melfort with the advantage at 1:02.

Another powerplay goal, this one at 16:24 from Logan Belton, gave Melfort a 3-0 lead. Miramichi got on the board at 18:03 as Ludovic Dufort scored, with assists to Justin David and David Doucet. But Melfort answered just 56 seconds later to take a 4-1 lead to the 3rd as Hutchinson notched his second goal of the game. Shots were 11-10 for the Mustangs in the middle frame.

In the final period, Melfort kept the pressure on but Jack Flanagan made a number of saves to keep his team in it. Miramichi outshot the Mustangs 10-8 in the 3rd period, but couldn’t get another goal past James Venne. Miramichi went 0 for 5 on the powerplay, while Melfort was 2 for 4.

Flanagan made 27 saves in the loss. Jayden Burt-Munn was named Player of the Game for Miramichi.

The Timberwolves will play the host Oakville Blades at 8:30 p.m. Atlantic on Friday.