Crush­ers look to con­tinue hot streak

Lo­cals have won five straight head­ing into Jan. 3 tilt against vis­it­ing Ram­blers

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

By the time the Ju­nior A Crush­ers step on the ice Jan. 3, Santa Claus and the Christ­mas tur­key will be long gone.

The next two months are about see­ing if the Crush­ers can squeak into the play­offs, af­ter a one-year ab­sence of post-sea­son play.

“In a lot of ways, you didn’t want Christ­mas to come, as crazy as that sounds,” said coach Doug Doull, whose team hit the Christ­mas break on a five-game win­ning streak, which went a long way to­ward sav­ing their sea­son.

“It abruptly stopped a pretty good run for us, (but) it’s a new sea­son now and we have to ap­proach the sec­ond half, and not look back.”

Thanks to a stretch of eight wins in 10 games over­all, Pic­tou County will be­gin the New Year just two points out of a play­off spot (although the fourth-place South Shore Lum­ber­jacks have played three fewer games than Pic­tou County).

The Crush­ers have got­ten big pro­duc­tion from Dy­lan Ri­ley and Ja­cob Hockey in the turn­around; Ri­ley has six goals and seven as­sists in the past seven games, Hickey has seven goals and seven as­sists in that span and has scored goals in six straight games.

Their first Jan­uary game is against the Amherst Ram­blers (7 p.m. start time at the Pic­tou County Well­ness Cen­tre (PCWC), who have com­piled a 19-7-2 mark and sit fairly com­fort­ably in sec­ond place in the MHL’s South Di­vi­sion. The Ram­blers have won both games they’ve played at the PCWC, while the teams have split two con­tests at Amherst Sta­dium, the lat­est a 6-0 Crush­ers’ vic­tory in The Jun­gle on Dec. 1.

“There’s a lot of hope in the room,” said Doull, when asked about his team’s out­look as Jan­uary ap­proached.

“(The play­ers) have given them­selves a chance. We know how fleet­ing win­ning can be, how los­ing can be, so we just have to have that mind­set.”

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