Frus­tra­tion run­ning deep in Blues land

Blues outscored 16-1, out­shot 63-15 Satur­day af­ter­noon

The Citizen-Record (Cumberland) - - SPORTS - BY DAVE MATHIESON

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.

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