Pi­rates to host Pen­guins Fri­day night

The Casket - - Sports - COREY LEBLANC coreyle­blanc@the­cas­ket.ca

The Strait Pi­rates will host the East Hants Pen­guins Fri­day (Sept. 28) in Nova Sco­tia Ju­nior Hockey League (NSJHL) ac­tion.

Puck drop is set for 7:30 p.m. at the Port Hawkes­bury Civic Cen­tre.

“I am re­ally happy so far,” sec­ond-year head coach Tay­lor Lam­bke said, on the af­ter­noon be­fore the Pi­rates’ first road game, Sept. 21, against the Sackville Blaz­ers, which turned out to be a 3-2 win.

He de­scribed the Pi­rates’ train­ing camp as “re­ally good.”

“I re­ally like the way we are play­ing right now,” Lam­bke said.

Af­ter a pair of pre-sea­son vic­to­ries over the ri­val Antigo­nish Farm­ers’ Mu­tual Ju­nior Bull­dogs – by scores of 6-1 and 7-3 – the Pi­rates dropped the puck for the reg­u­lar sea­son with a 3-2 home win over the Liver­pool Pri­va­teers.

“We didn’t get many bounces, but we were able to find a way,” Lam­bke said of the one-goal vic­tory.

Re­sults of match-ups with the Sackville Blaz­ers (Sept. 28) and Brook­field Elks (Oct. 02) were un­avail­able at press time.

Sev­eral key ac­qui­si­tions, start­ing with the trade for goal­tender Cody Smith from the Kameron Ju­nior Min­ers late last sea­son, will be cru­cial to suc­cess for the Pi­rates.

Over the sum­mer, the or­ga­ni­za­tion bol­stered its blue line, ad­ding for­mer Val­ley Wild­cat Bren­dan Lan­ning and Liam Mackin­non, who skated with the Cape Bre­ton West Is­lan­ders last sea­son.

Most re­cently, on Sept. 18, the Pi­rates ac­quired for­wards Bran­don Dauphi­nee and Ja­cob Kea­gan, from the Ju­nior Min­ers, for Ryan Law­less, a 2019 wavier pick and fu­ture con­sid­er­a­tions.

Lam­bke called all th­ese pieces “big ad­di­tions” to the line-up.

He said he is pleased with his goal­tend­ing and de­fense, while he an­tic­i­pates the of­fense get­ting bet­ter and bet­ter.

“We are re­ally ex­cited about our group,” Lam­bke said.

Last sea­son, the Pi­rates fin­ished fourth in the Sid Rowe Divi­sion, with a 14-16-3-1 record, and were swept in the open­ing round of the play­offs by the Min­ers.

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