Crushers seek seventh straight win
Pictou County rolling with six straight victories as Jan. 10 roster deadline looms
It wasn’t that long ago the Junior A Crushers were thinking about cutting their losses and waiting ’til next year.
Mired in a long losing spell and falling out of the playoff picture, the possibility of shedding veteran players in the days leading up to the Jan. 10 trade deadline was a very strong one.
Then, December happened. Winners of six straight games since the start of December – and eight of their past nine – the Crushers are only two points behind the South Shore Lumberjacks for the final playoff spot in the Maritime Hockey League’s South Division (the Lumberjacks have played two fewer games).
“Our outlook has changed dramatically since the first of December,” general manager and assistant coach Chad McDavid said this week.
“We’ve put ourselves in a position where, if we can keep this little run going, we have a good chance of catching who’s in front of us and making the playoffs. The players have worked hard in the last month and a half.”
McDavid said anything could be on the table – even trading veterans – if the organization received an offer too good to refuse, but any hockey general manager says the same thing.
McDavid did say he’d like to add some depth to the blueline, if a trade makes sense both short and long-term.
“We have six defencemen (and) we’re an injury away from not having a full group back there.”
Pictou County has an opportunity to get their seventh straight win on Thursday against the Yarmouth Mariners (7 p.m. at the Pictou County Wellness Centre), but it won’t be easy. Yarmouth is 4-0 against Pictou County this season, has outscored the Crushers 16-5 in those games and are starting to take control of first place in the Maritime Hockey League’s South Division.
The Crushers elevated their win streak to six games on Jan. 3 with a 7-4 win on home ice over the Amherst Ramblers.
Barrett Dachyshyn and Dylan Riley each had two goals for the Crushers, while also finding the net were Jacob Hickey, Evan Gallant, and newcomer Chase Ellis, in the 16-year-old’s first game as a Crusher.
Aiden Hickey, Michael Fradette, Kevin Mason and Isaac Chapman all had two assists for Pictou County. Riley, who had just four goals in the first 21 games of the season, has erupted for eight goals and eight assists in the past eight games.