PICTOU COUNTY – Thursday night the Weeks Crushers iced only four defencemen, with three out of the lineup with injuries, but easily won their second game of the week 5-1 over the Metro Shipbuilders.
A strong first period put the Crushers out ahead of the Shipbuilders 3-0 with goals from Jordan McInnis, Andrew Graham and Mitchell Deruelle, with the Crushers outshooting Metro 14-8. They would also chase Metro’s starting goaltender Maxxim Feener 11:49 into the period, scoring three goals on nine shots.
Neither team would score in the second period, but only 44 seconds into the third the Shipbuilders’ Justin Thomas scored Metro’s first and only goal of the game to cut the Crushers lead to two.
Midway through the period the Crushers padded their lead with Mitchell Shewfelt finding the back of the net from the point with a shot past a screened Jeff Arkin. John Mullally rounded out the scoring for the game with 50 seconds remaining in regulation to give Pictou County their 5-1 victory.
With Tim Rose, Patrick Levesque and Evan MacEachern out of the lineup Mullally ended up in a defensive role as opposed to his usual spot on the wing.
Although it was the first time he’s played defense since a lone game in major midget, he had three points. He said on the bus ride back from Amherst on Wednesday night that head coach Jason Malone asked him if he had ever played defence before. He didn’t think much of it until he came to the rink on Thursday.
“I told him I played in midget before, but nothing near this caliber,” said Mullally. “It was a surprised when I walked in the room today and saw my name on the defensive side of the board.”
He said the biggest change was transitioning back to the Crushers zone and trying not to be too offensive breaking out of their zone.
“I’m not used to pivoting like that every shift so it was different for sure,” said Mullally. “If I made a mistake out there the guys weren’t to critical, but pointed out how I could change things. It was hard to hold back being a forward my whole life always thinking offence, so coming up the ice I wanted to do that extra move, but I had to hold off.”
Tomorrow night the Weeks Crushers are on the road in Bridgewater against the Lumberjacks, who they’ll be playing in the mini-series. Mullally said he’s unsure if he’ll be on defence again, but jokingly said “if that’s what it takes for me to lead the team in points I guess it wouldn’t be that bad.”
Pictou County Weeks Crushers 5
1st Jordan McInnis from Mitchell Deruelle and John Mullally 8:05
1st Andrew Graham from Evan Carmody and Bruce Hornbrook 10:24
1st Mitchell Deruelle and John Mullally 11:49
3rd Mitchell Shewfelt from Bruce Hornbrook
3rd John Mullally from Mark Vokey and Cody Johnston 19:10 PP
Metro Shipbuilders 1
3rd Justin Thomas from Mitchell Jones 0:44
W: Dylan Frank: 27 saves
L: Maxxim Feener 6 saves
Jeff Arkin: 28 saves