Pi­rates lead divi­sion with Bull­dogs sit­ting sec­ond

The Casket - - Sports - RICHARD MACKEN­ZIE richard­mac@the­cas­ket.ca

Five wins in eight games has the Antigo­nish Farmers’ Mu­tual Ju­nior Bull­dogs sit­ting in sec­ond place in the Sid Rowe Divi­sion of the Nova Sco­tia Ju­nior Hockey League, go­ing into the last full week of Oc­to­ber.

The Strait Pi­rates, un­der head coach Tay­lor Lam­bke, lead the divi­sion with a 6-1-1 (over­time loss) record for a to­tal of 13 points. The Dave Synishin coached Bull­dogs have 10 points, one more than the Kameron Jr. Min­ers, who have played two less games.

In games over the Oct. 19 and 20 week­end, the host Pi­rates downed the Cole Har­bour Colts 6-4, to avenge a 3-2 over­time loss on the road, ear­lier in the week, while the Bull­dogs dropped a home-ice con­test ver­sus the Min­ers, by the score of 5-2.

Bryce Reynolds had two goals for the Strait in the win while Chris­tian Pap­ineau recorded three as­sists.

Bran­den Dauphi­nee had a goal and an as­sist while Ran­don Mackin­non, Ryan Bakker, Joshua Macmil­lian each added a goal and Devin Sce­les two as­sists.

Cody Smith picked up the win in goal for the Pi­rates by mak­ing 20 saves.

Scor­ing for the Bull­dogs in their loss to the Min­ers were Cory Ma­clel­lan and Ryan Kennedy with Ja­cob Nobbe and Fearghus Mac­don­ald pick­ing up as­sists.

Jared Green was tagged with the loss while mak­ing 29 saves.

Two of the Bull­dogs’ three losses have been at the hands of the de­fend­ing league and Don John­son Cup cham­pion Min­ers and vet­eran de­fence­man Kieran Devine said the key is play­ing a full 60 min­utes against the Mem­ber­tou-based club.

“We just have to play three full pe­ri­ods and we can play harder against those guys,” Devine said, fol­low­ing a team prac­tice Oct. 23.

“We have to bring it ev­ery shift, you can’t take shifts off against them.”

Kennedy noted the Bull­dogs have scored two goals in both losses ver­sus the Min­ers, so they have to pick it up of­fen­sively.

“The last game we had trou­ble scor­ing against them too, we have to be more ag­gres­sive,” Kennedy said. “Play harder against them and be more phys­i­cal.”

One of the lo­cal play­ers with the Bull­dogs this season, Kennedy noted his season is go­ing along pretty well, pay­ing on a line with fel­low Antigo­nisher Fearghus Mac­don­ald and ju­nior ‘A’ vet­eran Kee­gan Gauthier.

“We’re play­ing well to­gether,” Kennedy said, be­fore giv­ing his as­sess­ment of the team’s season, so far, over­all.

“Things are go­ing pretty good; we have a young team and we’re only go­ing to get bet­ter,” he said. “We have a lot of rook­ies this year and it will take a while for ev­ery­one to get go­ing.”

Devine echoed his team­mate’s thought.

“A lot of young guys but you see guys start­ing to pick it up now, and do some things … it’s go­ing pretty well,” Devine, who also has ju­nior ‘A’ ex­pe­ri­ence, said.

The team is es­pe­cially young on the blue-line which makes his ex­pe­ri­ence all that more in­valu­able.

“A lit­tle bit more of a lead­er­ship role out there; show the young guys and step it up, but, at the end of the day, you still have to keep it sim­ple, keep play­ing your game,” Devine said of his ap­proach. “It [his game] doesn’t change too much.”

Week­end games

This week­end, the Pi­rates play a home-and-home se­ries ver­sus the Cum­ber­land Blues which in­cludes a Fri­day even­ing (Nov. 2) con­test at the Port Hawkes­bury Civic Cen­tre. Puck drop is 7:30 p.m. The Bull­dogs will host the East Hants Pen­guins Sun­day at the Antigo­nish Arena (7:30 p.m. puck drop) be­fore trav­el­ling to Sackville Mon­day even­ing to face off against the Blaz­ers.

Richard Macken­zie

Antigo­nish Farmers’ Mu­tual Ju­nior Bull­dogs Kee­gan Gauthier (#17) and Cody Mackil­lop bat­tle for the puck ver­sus Kameron Jr. Min­ers Colton Marc­hand (#24) and Tris­tan Nor­dine, dur­ing Nova Sco­tia Ju­nior Hockey League ac­tion Oct. 19 at the Antigo­nish Arena. The Min­ers won the con­test 5-2.

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