TRENTON – Sunday night the Pictou County junior B Scotians wrap up their NSJHL season at home against the Glace Bay Miners and will know by Sunday morning if they need to win to claim home ice advantage for the playoffs.
Ahead of the Strait Pirates by three points in the Sid Rowe Division, the Scotians can lock up second place with a win on Sunday, but if the Pirates lose Friday or Saturday nights against the Antigonish Bulldogs, the Scotians claim second place before Sunday night.
Steven MacNeil of New Glasgow is in his first season with the team after playing three years with the Weeks Major Midgets. He said the team is focusing on Sunday’s game against the division’s first place team, but are still thinking about the first-round of the playoffs.
“We’re focusing on this weekend because by Sunday we should know if we need the points to go ahead or not,” said MacNeil. “We want to play well Sunday in preparation for the playoffs, but knowing before the game if we have home ice locked up or not will be great.”
Although it is his first season with the team, MacNeil notices a buzz in the locker room surrounding the playoffs. He said returning players are excited to be in a playoff position and the team feels they can compete with any in the league.
“The guys that have been around for a couple years know they need to take advantage of this opportunity because they know what it means to struggle and not make the playoffs, so they’re getting pumped up for the first-round,” said MacNeil. “I think we can definitely take them (the Pirates) in the first-round if we stick to the way we’ve been playing lately. The guys knows what it takes to beat them and we’re on the same page right now.”
MacNeil said after struggling to start the season that the team’s effort was there, but it just took a few games to get things smoothed out.
“We have great commitment from the guys this season and knew it would come eventually, but would just take some time,” he said. “After a few games and practices things started to come together and we started to be successful.”
Sunday night’s game against Glace Bay gets underway at 7:30 p.m. at the Trenton Arena
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