JAY-Essex coach Bill O'Neil has seen a lot of things in his forty-plus year career as a coach, so while it was not a surprise when his Hornets overcame a two goal third period deficit to defeat North Country 3-2, it was pretty touch and go for his charges on Saturday night.
"I thought they gave us a hard time for two and three-quarter periods and we just got the bounces," said O'Neil. "The league is like that this year. Anybody can beat anybody on any given night, and we knew coming in that it was going to be a battle."
For North Country coach Andrew Roy, he was not making any excuses, saying flat out what went wrong with his club in the final minutes of the third period.
"It was mental mistakes, not tired legs," said Roy about his team's late-game collapse. "We had forty minutes of hockey with guys doing what they're supposed to do, and for the last couple of minutes, once the pressure got turned up, some guys didn't rise to the occasion."
Next up for 10-4-1 North Country is a visit from last year's Metro Division Champions, BFA St. Albans.
This will be the first game this season where NCU has their entire line-up dressed and ready to go, and coach Roy is looking forward to it.
"It will be nice to have a full roster for the first time this season. We have missed Logan these last couple of games and we are thrilled to have Nate back to make the stretch run."
The puck drops at 6:00 at the Jay Peak Ice Haus on Wednesday night.
For the full story, check out Monday's Express on 2-11-13.