PICTOU COUNTY – Saturday the Pictou County bantam AA Crushers were eliminated prior to their game with Glace Bay defeating Halifax to clinch a spot in the crossovers.
In their third game of the tournament against West Hants, which didn’t affect continuing to crossovers on Sunday, the Crushers fell 2-1.
Both West Hants goals came less than a minute apart in the final five minutes of regulation from Nathan Lake and Dawson Wood. The Crushers’ Austin Mason answered with 59 seconds remaining, but they couldn’t complete the comeback.
Mark Vouligny picked up the win in goal for West Hants, while Matthew Murray took his second loss in goal for Crushers over the weekend.
When asked about the late goals for the second game in a row, assistant coach Harry Knoester said the team was able to use their leading offensive players more, but it’s not something they could do all game.
“We tend to put some of our bigger guns out there at the end, which you can’t do all game,” he said. “In the last couple of minutes we get desperate. I wish we could do it (score) easier, but we can’t for whatever reason.”
Although the team lost all three games Knoester said the coaches were proud of the team’s effort. He said they worked hard, but scoring goals continues to be a struggle for them.
“I thought our guys worked hard enough, but we only scored a couple goals,” said Knoester. “Our team struggles scoring goals. It was a close game, the guys gave it what they could and it was a nothing game at the end of the tournament so we got through it.”
“We’re very good defensively, but unfortunately in bantam hockey two or three goals doesn’t win a lot of hockey games and the teams that are capable of scoring five to seven goals generally beat us.”
The team has three league games left before league tournament on Feb. 28. Out of the league tournament the top two teams go to provincials to play against the Halifax league and Sydney league.
“As long as we get the effort and discipline we will give ourselves a chance, but we need to stay out of the penalty box in the close games if we hope to do well at the league tournament.”
On Twitter: @NGNewsChris