TRENTON – Tied with a win apiece in their NSJHL playoff series, the Strait Pirates and Pictou County Scotians will both be looking to move ahead tonight in Game 3 in Trenton.
Pictou County opened the series in Port Hawkesbury with a 4-3 overtime loss followed by a 6-4 win on Sunday night at home. Tim Robertson said that although the home team has won both games so far that it hasn’t proven to be a major difference.
“It played a little role, but it wasn’t overbearing on the outcome,” he said. “Down there it went into overtime and then here it was a two goal game so both of them weren’t out of reach (for the road team). I think it could go either way at each rink.”
Both teams finished with identical records during the regular season in Sid Rowe Division, but the Scotians received home ice advantage after winning the head-to-head matchup against the Pirates. Robertson said with the teams evenly matched it will be the team that works the hardest that ends up winning the series.
“It’s just going to be the work ethic and whoever shows up to work the hardest that wins,” said Robertson. “We’re two both talented teams, but for us we’re hopefully going to outwork them and come away with the series. Solid defensive play on our part will be key for us winning the series. We need to tighten up defensively, which we have been lately, but offensively I think we’re playing great.”
Going into the series the Scotians were focusing more on their game than the Pirates. Now that they’re into the series they’re starting to adjust their game based on what Port Hawkesbury has thrown at them.
“We’re very much looking at what they’re doing and who we’re out playing against as they’re trying to match lines a lot,” said Robertson. “We want to adjust who we have out against their teams so they don’t match the lines. We’re talking about what to do, where we’re struggling and where we need to improve on.”
So far in the playoffs, Lucas Eshelman and Brandon Verge are leading the league with five points apiece in two games. Verge and Ben Crowell are also tied atop the league for goals, with three each in two games against the Pirates.
“Offensively they’re doing what they’re supposed to do and what they were brought on the team for, which is putting the points up,” said Robertson. “Also our second line is producing points very well too. In our first game Ben Crowell had all three goals and he’s on the second line. Our offense as of now is putting the points on the board, so now it’s needing to focus on the defensive side of things.”
Puck drop is 7:30 p.m. at the Trenton Rink tonight, with Game 4 Friday in Port Hawkesbury. When asked if it was tough to gain momentum with days between games, Robertson said it can be tough.
“In a way it’s tough to carry it through because there is such big spaces between games and you have time to prepare for the next one,” he said. “It’s a good thing if you have injuries because you have a few days to rest, but it does affect one team trying to keep the momentum I think.”
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