Blues battle hard in losses to Pirates, Miners
SPRINGHILL - Their general manager Terry McManaman recently said his team has a tendency to fold like like pup tents against tougher opponents, but the Cumberland County Blues proved over the weekend they not ready to fold just yet.
“The kids aren’t quitting, that’s the main thing,” Blues coach Grove Sutton said.
The Nova Scotia Junior Hockey League’s last place Blues played three games over the weekend, one against the Port Hawkesbury Strait Pirates and two against the Glace Bay Miners, the league’s top team.
They lost 8-2 to the Pirates Friday night in Springhill.
“The last time we played these guys here we lost 11-0 so we cut the score in half,” Sutton said. “Port Hawkesbury has a good team, they have a skilled team but I don’t think they outworked us. We battled hard with them the whole game.”
The Miners were in Springhill Nov. 14 and 15, beating the Blues 11-1 and 16-1.
They played the Miners Saturday and Sunday in Glace Bay, losing by scores of 5-0 and 61 respectively.
“I said to the boys that the effort was there,” Sutton said. “You can’t fault the effort because the effort was definitely there.”
The Blues had a new goaltender in the line up for Friday’s game against the Pirates.
“The goaltender we picked up, Tyler Boudreau, played well for us. We picked him up from Cole Harbour.”
Boudreau faced 48 shots in the 8-2 loss, and his new teammates had 24 shots on Miners goaltender Colin Hooper.
Both Blues goals were scored in the second period. Zack Anderson scored with 13:10 left in the period off feeds from Paul Gulliver and Ryan Crowe, and Marcus Belliveau scored with 4:56 left in the period off a pass from Drew McNutt.
“Paul Gulliver played his best game of the year. He worked hard on both ends of the rink,” Sutton said.
Sutton says his team showed a lot of ‘jam’ against the Pirates.
“They battled hard. We didn’t back down. (Matt) Beal got into a fight, we haven’t shown a lot of that this year,” Sutton said. “We showed some heart. Even the smaller guys, Chad Miller, Jesse Gouchie, (Doug) Barton were out there banging, and (Zach) Coates was back for his first game after being out with a concussion and he did a nice job coming back.”
Carly Jackson got the start in goal for Satur- day’s 5-0 loss in Glace Bay.
She faced 64 shots in goal, while her teammates had 14 shots on Glace Bay goaltender Scott MacDonald.
Boudreau was back in goal for the Blues on Sunday. He faced 53 shots in the 6-1 loss, while his teammates had 19 shots on Miners netminder Nick Walsh.
The Blues are back home Friday to take on their Sid Rowe Division rivals, the Antigonish Bulldogs.
The Bulldogs are currently in second last place in the NSJHL with four points to the Blues two points.
“We’re going to keep plugging away here. Never say die. There’s still a lot of hockey left to play and we’re only one place out of a playoff spot,” Sutton said. “We still have a lot of games against Antigonish left to play, so if we continue with this kind of effort it’s a positive sign.”