TRENTON – Westville’s Mitchell Watters took a few years away from hockey after playing for Northumberland Regional High School before joining the Pictou County Scotians. In his second and final season (overage player) he doesn’t regret the decision of dedicating his time to playing competitive hockey again.
Last season he said it was tough playing, while being out of shape and the team struggling, but this year it’s been worth sticking it out.
“I really missed getting on the ice and being around the rink so I knew it was time to start playing again,” said Watters. “I was out of shape at first so it took time to get back into it, but I’m into it now. I was more prepared physically for playing this season and we seem to have a lot better drive to compete, which has made a big difference being on the team this year.”
Tonight the Scotians can eliminate the Strait Pirates in the Sid Rowe Division semifinal, up 3-2 in their best-of-seven series, to advance to the division final. Puck drop tonight is 7:30 p.m. and Game 7 (if necessary) is Sunday night in Trenton, also at 7:30 p.m.
“The coaches have been telling us to treat it like any other game and that’s our plan going into Friday night,” he said. “We’ll just see what happens, but we’re a lot more confident knowing we can win and feel that we can go far in the playoffs.
“Early in the season when we got our first few wins we knew we could beat teams, something we struggled with last year and at this point we know we can beat them if we put in the effort.”
Watters said the Port Hawkesbury Civic Centre could be looked at as a tough place to play with loud and passionate fans, but he said he feeds off the atmosphere. He believes many of the other players feel the same way.
“I think we want to win more and feed off the crowds energy because we know what it was like to lose last year,” said Watters. “We have a chance to win it this year so we’ll go out there, work hard and see what happens. It’s my last year so it’d mean a lot to advance in the playoffs and potentially go out on top.”
On Twitter: @NGNewsChris