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Dolphins take 2-0 lead in

series against Stars

photo by Rob J. Ross
North Middlesex Star Austin Crouch and Dorchester Dolphin Jovin Eterno fall to the ice battling for the puck, during game one of their PJHL first round series, at the FlightExec Centre on Friday night. The Dolphins won 5-2.

by Rob J. Ross

        Josh Short keeps scoring and Austin Bisschop maintains his hot hand.
        The two forwards have led the Dorchester Dolphins to a two games to none lead over the North Middlesex Stars, in their best of seven Provincial Junior Hockey League Yeck Division first round series.
        Short scored twice and Austin Bisschop had the game winning goal and an assist in a 4-1 win in Parkhill on Sunday. Dylan Buckholz also scored.
        It’s going to take discipline to be successful. “We’re trying to stay out of the scraps as best as possible and letting them take the penalties,” said Bisschop. “We worked hard and played well in our own end, which led to opportunities in their end.”
        Dorchester had 14 penalties for 44 minutes and North Middlesex had 16 calls totalling 72 minutes on Sunday. Each team scored once with a man advantage.
        Buckholz lit the fire under the Dolphins in game one on home ice at the FlightExec Centre on Friday.
        The veteran forward scored his second goal of the game, a power-play marker, with less than a minute to go in the second period, for a 3-2 Dolphins' lead.
        Dorchester carried that momentum in to the third period, concluding with a 5-2 win for one game.
        "That was a big goal and little less pressure on the boys. I feel we had some confidence going in to the third period," said Buckholz. "We had a self check in the room and said we have to actually lock this third period down."
        Short and Brody Smith shot one into an empty net to add to Dorchester’s total in the third period.
        "That was a huge goal on the power play and it totally changed the momentum of the game, especially after going down (twice)," said Bisschop, who had two assists. "To get that one for our first lead. The boys were just fired up."
        The quiet game had just six penalties, with the Dolphins going one for three with the man advantage. The Dolphins outshot the Stars 50-25, limiting their visitors to just 10 shots over the second half of the game.
        "Power plays and penalty kills are make or break for playoff games. It showed tonight," said Buckholz. "We were moving the puck really well. Our team has a lot of depth and the boys are playing great. Our lines are coming together now."
        North Middlesex held brief leads of 1-0 and 2-1 in the first period, but the Dolphins responded quickly, including Noah Small tying the game at two on the very next shift.
        "It was getting the jitters out. It's a lot of player's first time in the playoffs," Bisschop said. "I was nervous. "We went down but we scored right away. That was huge. They (North Middlesex) got all the momentum, but then we totally killed their momentum."
        Bisschop, on a line with Small and Short, had the primary assist on both their goals, with similar looking drives towards the net, before dishing off the puck.
        "I thought I heard someone call for it, but Josh is a quiet kid, so you don't really hear him. But I heard something so I took a gamble on the short side and he made a nice play and shot it on the far side," said Bisschop. "They're both talented players; (and) a little bit bigger boys so it helps me. They both have hard shots and good hands. I'm good to pass all day as I know they can score better than I can."
        Bisschop has praise for his linemate (Short). “He’s a talented hockey player; strong and smart, both with and without the puck. “He always seems to be in the right spot to score goals. I’m happy to pass to him all through the playoffs.”
        Short, Braidon Duncan, Dylan Van Dusen and Caden Faulkner, each picked up an assist.
        Sam Baker and Cole Campbell scored for North Middlesex.
        Liam McCarthy had the start in the Dolphins' net, making 23 saves.
        All four of the Dolphins' 20-goal scorers from the regular season found the back of the net in game one. Bisschop has 14 points in his past 13 games. Short is on an eight game point streak, with five goals and four assists.
        Game three is in Dorchester on Friday, February 14.
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