Frustration running deep in Blues land
Blues outscored 16-1, outshot 63-15 Saturday afternoon
SPRINGHILL - It was a case of the team with the second best record in the Nova Scotia Junior Hockey League schooling the team with the league’s worst record.
In two games in Springhill, one Friday night and the other Saturday afternoon, the Cumberland County Blues were outscored by the Glace Bay Miners 27-2, and outshot 110-28.
“We were out of it early in the game,” said Terry McManaman, Blues general manager, after Saturday’s loss. “Once we were down early in the first period we folded like pup tents.”
The Blues lost Friday’s game 11-1, and Saturday’s game 16-1. They were outshot 47-13 on Friday and 63-15 on Saturday.
“If you don’t have 20 guys going 100 per cent you’re not going to do good against a topnotch club, and we proved that this weekend,” said McManaman.
The Blues currently have a record of 1-13-0, and the Miners are 11-5-0.
“We have five or six kids who give it their all and we have some kids who give up easily,” said McManaman.
The lone Blues goal scorer on Saturday was Ryan Crowe, with Paul Gulliver assisting. Friday’s goal scorer was Gulliver, with assists from Kyle MacDonald and Doug Barton, both of who are from Springhill.
“We didn’t have enough guys committed,” said McManaman after Saturday’s loss. “We were outsized too. It’s hard to bump a big club when you’re a small club.” GOALTENDING Josh Tannahill got the start in goal for the Blues. He played for 9:23, faced nine shots, and let in four goals.
Carly Jackson came in and played the rest of the game.
Jackson was scored on three times in the first period, five times in the second period and four times in the third period.
“We were out played. The Miners have a very nice team,” said McManaman. “They’re one or two players away from winning it all in this league, as long as they stay healthy.”
McManaman said he doesn’t like to make excuses for his team’s performance but his team seems to be caught between a rock in a hard place, the hard place being their location on the map.
“It’s where we’re located. We don’t have the feeder system from university or AAA clubs that many of the other teams have,” he said.
He also said it takes a lot of money to ice a competitive team.
McManaman says the Blues currently have one player who the team billets, and added that the Blues used to billet 15 players when they were one of the top teams in the league, but those days are over.
“Back when the Blues were winning they were spending a lot of money on this hockey program but if they would have continued spending that amount of money there wouldn’t have been a team either, they would have folded long ago,” said McManaman. “We don’t have that now. It’s back to the grass roots. If they want the team to keep going you either have to have a large debt or you pay your bills by playing kids you can afford.”
It was apparent by his very careful choice of words that frustration is running deep in Blues land but McManaman holds out hope.
“We can sit around and feel sorry for ourselves or we can go back to the drawing board, and that’s what we have to do.” The final trade deadline is Jan. 10 “We’ll keep trying to make some changes right up to Jan. 10,” said McManaman.
The Blues are back on home ice on Friday to host the Port Hawkesbury Strait Pirates, and are on the road to Glace Bay on Saturday and Sunday for two rematches against the Miners.
A Cape Breton Miner gets between Joel St. Peters and Drew McNutt during Junior B hockey action Saturday afternoon in Springhill.