PICTOU COUNTY – Opening the 29th Annual Bantam Memorial Tournament on Tuesday afternoon, the Bantam AA Crushers fell 3-1 to the Antigonish Bulldogs.
Ryan Dykstra scored the lone goal for Pictou County, while Iain MacLellan, Ryan Kennedy and Andrew Boyle scored for the Bulldogs.
Peter Kopf turned aside 26 shots in the win, while Matthew Murray made 27 saves in the loss for Pictou County.
After the game the Dykstra said if the team wants to win tomorrow in their game at 6:30 p.m. against Northside at the Pictou County Wellness Centre that they need to work harder than they did today. He said the team had positive aspects to their game, but weren’t looking after the minor details.
“We need to work harder, play as a team, have better changes, dump the puck in better and get more shots on net,” he said.
Antigonish opened the scoring 3:15 into the first period with MacLellan’s goal. The score remained 1-0 through the first period.
In the second Pictou County tied the game at 7:15 with Dykstra’s goal, assisted by Christian MacLeod.
“We just kept telling each other to keep going, but it was a little tough right after they scored to stay focused,” said Dykstra. “We were all pumped (when we scored) cause we thought we were coming back, but when they scored that next goal we went in a little hole and couldn’t get out.”
The next goal for Antigonish came with just 1:24 remaining in the period, giving them a 2-1 lead heading into the short break.
In the third the Crushers pushed to break even again, but Boyle buried his own rebound 8:39 into the period to seal the win.
Dykstra said the team may not have been far off Antigonish in shots, but they need better quality shots in their remaining games in the tournament if they want to win.
“We need to have a better cycle down low, get to the defence, get better shots from the point and make sure we’re working as hard as we can,” he said. “We had a good forecheck, good shots on net, but we want more and for our shots to be better. We want more in the middle, to give and go, which will help us get more in the middle because on the outside they were pretty good defensively.”
On Twitter: @NGNewsChris