Crush­ers hit­ting the road

Pic­tou County squad vis­its Val­ley Fri­day, clashes with ri­val Truro Satur­day

The News (New Glasgow) - - SPORTS - BY KEVIN ADSHADE

In the midst of a nice lit­tle run that is keep­ing them on the fringes of the play­off race, the Ju­nior A Crush­ers will play two on the road this week­end.

Pic­tou County, seven points be­hind the South Shore Lum­ber­jacks for the fi­nal play­off spot in the Mar­itime Hockey League’s South Divi­sion (the ’Jacks have played three fewer games than the Crush­ers), is at the Val­ley Wild­cats on Fri­day and then heads to Truro for a 7 p.m. game Satur­day against the Bearcats.

“We’ll ap­proach those games no dif­fer­ent than we do any other game,” said coach Doug Doull.

“(But) our guys know there’s an ur­gency and des­per­a­tion that’s re­quired the rest of the way. There’s not much room for er­ror.”

The Crush­ers, who had a Nov. 29 game against the St. Stephen Aces post­poned due to in­clement weather, don’t have a usual Thurs­day night game this week.

Af­ter a frus­trat­ing first two months of the sea­son, the Crush­ers have started to get re­warded for their work.

On Dec. 1 at Amherst Sta­dium, they took a 2-0 lead into the third pe­riod and pumped in four more for a con­vinc­ing 6-0 win, their third in four games. It was a good bounce back for the Crush­ers, who looked flat in a 5-2 loss to the Ram­blers at home on Nov. 26.

The win in Amherst, Doull said, “was a bet­ter rep­re­sen­ta­tion of us, in a barn that’s re­ally though to play in.”

An­drew Bur­den, ac­quired via trade with the Ed­mund­ston Bl­iz­zard in late Novem­ber – the Crush­ers sent cen­tre Cam Scott to Ed­mund­ston in the deal – scored a pair of goals and de­fense­man Michael Fradette had two goals and an as­sist in the win over Amherst. They were the first two goals of the sea­son for Fradette.

Ja­cob Hickey and Jaden Ma­son also had goals and Matt Nor­more made 38 saves in the Crush­ers’ net for his sec­ond straight shutout. In his pre­vi­ous start, he back­stopped Pic­tou County’s 6-0 vic­tory on Nov. 24 against Val­ley.

Doull feels like Nor­more and An­drew MacLeod have sta­bi­lized the goalie po­si­tion, but like most coaches are wait­ing for a No. 1 goal­tender to iden­tify him­self. For the time be­ing, though, he’ll go with the hot hand.

“You got to go back with Normy, he’s had two shutouts in a row now.”

Notes:

■ With young de­fence­men Ryan MacLen­nan, Matthew Genge and Harry San­ders start­ing to show de­vel­op­ment, the Crush­ers dealt 20-year-old blue­liner Aleck Forcier to Ed­mund­ston this past week, get­ting fu­ture con­sid­er­a­tions and a 2020 draft pick (fifth round) in re­turn.

■ Bar­rett Dachyshyn (7G, 15A), Dy­lan Ri­ley (7G, 15A) and Ja­cob Hickey (6G, 10A) lead the Crush­ers in scor­ing.

■ Matt Nor­more has got­ten his save per­cent­age up to .904.

■ Ja­cob Hickey has eight points in the past seven games (3G, 5A).

DAVE MATHIESON/SALTWIRE NET­WORK

Weeks Crush­ers for­ward Jaden Ma­son bat­tles against Thomas Ashe of the Amherst Ram­blers in a Dec. 1 game at Amherst Sta­dium.

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