PICTOU COUNTY – Down two games in the best-of-seven playoff series against the Halifax Titans, the Weeks Major Midget hockey team want and expect to take two at home starting tonight.
Captain Darryl Wheadon is wrapping up his time at the midget level this season. He said both he and other senior players aren’t ready to give up. He hopes the seniors can help lead the younger players through the rest of the series and onward.
“It’s really important to have your leaders or senior players lead by example,” he said. “It all comes down to leadership and how the younger guys react to it. I’m pleased with the guys play through the first two games of the playoffs. At the beginning of the year I was thinking this would be a rough time, but the guys came a long way and we’ve been playing a lot better the last month or so and hopefully it will work out for us.”
Monday night’s game (Game 3) starts at 7:45 p.m., while Game 4 goes at 7 p.m. on Tuesday. Both games are at the Pictou County Wellness Centre.
In their first game of the series the team fell 7-4, before a 2-1 overtime loss in Game 2 the next day. Wheadon said the team adjusted well to Halifax’s game on in the second game, but being able to adjust on the fly will be important Monday night for the team.
“We got to know their fore check on Saturday so we adjusted on Sunday and really used that to improve our defensive zone play and limit goals,” he said. “It’s pretty important for us to be able to adjust quickly on Monday. If they realize we’re doing one thing we need to be able to introduce something new quickly, which we’ve been looking at.”
Being down two games hasn’t taken a toll on the team according to Wheadon. He said they discussed what went wrong to start the series and confidence is building. Having defeated Halifax in regular season play this year the Weeks Major Midgets know they have what it takes to win.
“We realized we had a few mental errors on Saturday, but we realized our work ethic was there and it was just those few mental errors that can easily be fixed,” he said. “So long as we fix our errors, just like we did in the second game, we can play with them. We have confidence now and it’s still anybody’s game I think.”
Playing the next two at home Wheadon added that it’s a major advantage for the team.
“I think it does a lot for the returning guys knowing that we have a bigger crowd during playoffs and it’s much better in front of your home crowd instead of during away games,” said Wheadon. “We play a lot better at home then we do away so it’s something we will take advantage of.”
He doesn’t plan on these two home games being his final as a major midget player in the county, but at the same time knows it will eventually come to an end. Looking back he said one of the best parts of playing with the Weeks squad has been the support of the coaching staff.
“Playing for Dave (MacIntyre) all three years was fun, I learned a lot and you know that all the coaches have your back and they’d do anything for you,” he said. “All that they want from you is for you to work your hardest.”
On Twitter: @NGNewsChris