Coming off a three-week break from regular season play, the Weeks Crushers are back in action tonight, hoping to start anew in 2013.
Crushers captain Nick Parker said that he’s confident the team will be successful in the second half. He said after breaking their losing streak they had a strong finish in 2012 and hope to continue moving forward as a team.
“We had a pretty strong finish aside from the Yarmouth game and that helped us change our mentality and you notice a difference in the room when you start winning some games,” said Parker. “Everyone’s fresh now and this is like a new season and we’re a new team. We’ve made some deals, brought in some new players and added some toughness. I think it’s going to be almost like a new Crushers team and we’re going to be a lot stronger after the break.”
Going into the season the team knew they would have a three-week break during the holidays. Parker said ahead of the break they put together a plan to ensure the team stayed in shape even if they weren’t on the ice. He believes both the plan put in place and the break from hockey was important.
“We had a good plan in place from Jason (Malone) to make sure guys were staying in shape during the break,” said Parker. “Coming in now we feel we can start playing our best hockey because we haven’t been playing our best hockey so far. We’ve got 20 games left and we want them to be our best ones to give fans a reason to come and cheer us on heading into playoffs and go out with a bang.”
Getting back on the ice for practices nearly a week ago as a team, the Crushers were also joined for the first time by Evan Carmody and Tim Rose. Both players come to the Crushers from the Woodstock Slammers in a trade over the holiday. Parker said bother are fitting in well already.
“They’ve been great and are great personalities in the room,” he said. “They’re working hard on the ice and they want to be here and show what they can do.”
Parker said he’s unsure where they will fit into the lineup, but he believes Malone has an idea where they will play. He said the team wouldn’t know for sure until Thursday.
Looking to their final stretch of the regular season Parker said the team is focused on excelling heading into and in the playoffs.
“We don’t want to just make playoffs, but we want to go far and do something this year,” he said. “We’ve got a good team for next year, but we want to win this year. These are my last two years and I want to win two in a row.”
Goals for: 119
Goals against: 119
Vs. CIBC Wood Gundy Lumberjacks
Goals for: 87
Goals against: 164
Record against Lumberjacks: 2-1
Game time: 7 p.m. at the Pictou County Wellness Centre