Warriors hold on to first place with 4-3 win
Bill Baker contributor

Warriors hold on to first place with 4-3 win
Warriors forward Miguel Delisle slides a puck past Privateers netminder Richard Sillery during Federal Hockey League action Wednesday on Cornwall Island. Delisle scored a hat trick to lead Akwesasne past Thousand Islands by a score of 4-3.
PHOTO CREDIT - Allison Papineau

Cornwall - Feb. 10, 2011 - In what turned out to be the last regular season home game for the Akwesasne Warriors, they held on to defeat the Thousand Islands Privateers 4-3 at the Turtle Dome on Wednesday night.

It was decided by league officials earlier this week that the inaugural Federal Hockey League season would be reduced by approximately three weeks with the regular season ending the weekend of Feb. 20. The playoffs will start later that week with four teams, Akwesasne, 1000 Islands, Danbury and New York moving on.

Game dates for playoff games at the Turtle Dome have been scheduled for Feb. 24 and Feb. 27 against Thousand Islands in what will be a best-of-five first round series. The Warriors entered Wednesday's game without regulars Dan Tessier, Luc Mazerolle and team captain Patrick Deraspe, who was serving the last game of a five-game suspension. In their place were newcomers Terry Watt on defense and Ryan Alcalde at forward.

The Privateers struck first at 4:38 of the initial frame when Ryan Pearson scored on a play set up by Alex Goupil and Will Lapointe. Pearson banged in a rebound of a deflected shot on David Plouffe to make it 1-0. The Warriors replied at 8:45 of the first when Travis Stacey scored his third goal of the season on a beautiful setup from Josh Desmarais. The teams entered the first intermission tied at one.

The second period was a tale of two halves. The first ten minutes of the second was dominated by Thousand Islands who took a 3-1 lead on goals by Harry Mahesh and Alex Goupil. Goupil's goal was his league leading 41st of the season. With 9:55 left in the second frame a TV timeout was taken and it appeared that the Warriors regrouped. Eleven seconds after play resumed, Akwesasne made it 3-2 on a goal by Miguel Delisle on a beautiful pass from behind the net by Martin Beaulne. Delisle scored his second of the game at 14:15 of the second when he was set up by Ahmed Mahfouz. Akwesasne dominated the second ten minutes of the period and as was the case in the first, the two teams entered the second intermission tied at three.

The Warriors entered the third period on the man advantage as Justin Levac of Thousand Islands was assessed a penalty for hooking at 20:00 of the second. Akwesasne's number one ranked power play was unable to cash and the game remained tied. With just over four minutes played in the third, Miguel Delisle completed his hat trick and put the Warriors ahead for good. The only obstacle was killing off an interference penalty to Chad Bazin at 9:46. Thousand Islands pulled goaltender Richard Sillery with just over one minute left but were unable to get the equalizer past Plouffe.

With the victory, Akwesasne improves to a record of 29 victories and 14 defeats. Thousand Islands' record dropped to 25-12-5. The Warriors finish with a home record of 18 wins and 4 losses.

Akwesasne will finish off the regular season with a rematch in Alexandria Bay on Thursday evening against the Privateers and a triple header on the road against the Danbury Whalers on February 18, 19 and 20.

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