BATHURST – The Acadie-Bathurst Titan renewed their provincial rivalry with the Moncton Wildcats on Teddy Bears Toss day Sunday afternoon at the K.-C.-Irving Regional Centre. Ethan Crossman opened the scoring but it was the captain Jeffrey Viel who stole the show with a hat trick as the Titan doubled up on the Wildcats 6-3.
Crossman, a former third round pick of the Wildcats in 2015, potted his 10th of the season just seconds before the midway mark of the first period to send the stuffed animals raining onto the ice. Justin Ducharme and Noah Dobson picked up the assists at 9:51. Viel scored his first of the game just 31 seconds later banging in a rebound off a Dawson Theede shot to make it 2-0. Adam Holwell also added an assist on the play at 10:22. Julien Tessier got the Wildcats on the board at 11:04 cutting the home teams lead in half after one period of play.
On a well-executed faceoff play, Tessier won the draw to Jeremy McKenna and he beat Reilly Pickard to even the game 1-1 at 5:10 of the second period. However, the Titan would score twice in the middle frame to regain a two-goal cushion. First it was Noah Dobson unloading a clapper from the point on a man advantage at 11:13 putting the home side in front 3-2. Viel would add his second of the afternoon, also a powerplay goal, with just 30 seconds to play in the period. Jordan Maher picked up an assist on each of the second period goals while German Rubtsov and Antoine Morand had a helper each.
It took no time at all in the third period for the captain to complete the hat trick as he found the back of the net 2:10 into action giving the Titan a 5-2 lead. Maher picked up another assist on the play while Liam Murphy got the other. Moncton got a powerplay goal of their own a little over two minutes later as Tessier got his second of the game, bringing the visitors back to within two. Maher squandered just about all hopes the Wildcats had of a comeback with his ninth of the season to make it a 6-3 final. Murphy and Rubtsov notched the assists.
In goal Reilly Pickard had another solid performance posting 28 saves while his counterpart Mark Grametbauer finished with 33 saves in the loss for Moncton.
1st Star – Jeffrey Viel
2nd Star – Dawson Theede
3rd Star – Jordan Maher
The Titan will now hit the road for a quick trip to Rimouski to take on the Oceanic on Friday, December 8th at 8:30pm.