PICTOU COUNTY – The Pictou County Weeks Crushers wrapped up the home portion of their regular season in style Thursday night during minor hockey night in front over 1,100 fans at the Wellness Centre, winning 7-4 over the Amherst Ramblers.
“There’s just a certain vibe when you walk out onto the ice with tons of little kids in the crowd and not too long ago I was there myself,” said Jordan Moore. “You really reflect on that when it’s your last year of junior at home and appreciate all the little things that your parents put in for you.”
Down 2-1 through one period the Crushers started to turn their game around in the second period with a pair of goals by Nick Parker and Garrett Holmes (his second of the game).
It was in the third, with three quick goals, that the Crushers really took control, with Andrew Graham, Parker and Devan Gunn each finding the back of the net in the first three minutes of frame.
Gunn would add one more between a pair of Ramblers goals to seal the win.
Prior to the game the Crushers honoured their five 20-year-olds in their final regular season home game with the team; Gunn, Andrew Darrigo, Moore, Corey Bennett and Cody Squires. Although Darrigo just arrived this season, head coach Jason Malone said it didn’t take him long to make a mark.
“He quickly became a fan favorite because of his commitment to the physical side of the game,” said Malone. “He is quick to stand up for his teammates and takes pride in doing so.”
The longest serving graduating player comes from New Glasgow, Bennett. Malone said aside from injuries this season Bennett showed a tremendous understanding for the game when in the lineup. He hopes Bennett will return before the end of the season, something Bennett believes he’ll be ready for.
Looking at another fan favourite, Squires, he said that he was always a physical force to be reckoned with and was a favourite “thanks to his relentless forecheck and pursuit of the puck, Cody will truly be missed.”
Gunn was second to none in his consistent work ethic throughout his time as a Crusher in the eyes of the coaching staff.
“He skates the same way every night, as hard as he possibly can,” said Malone. “While his numbers aren’t staggering, he has made a name for himself through his work ethic and commitment to being the hardest working player on the ice.”
Charlottetown’s Moore, the final graduating player, will also be missed by the Crushers, not only in the lineup, but in the points department according to Malone. Moore currently sits second in points amongst defencemen in the league, “a huge hole for the organization to fill,” said Malone.
Playing the league leader on Friday night to wrap up the regular season, Josh Desmond, Moore said it will be in the back of his mind that he’s close.
“It’s kind of hard to put something away like that, but I’ll put the team first and I’m not going to change up my game in any way,” he said. “I’m just going to keep the ball rolling into playoffs for our sixth win in a row.”
Moore said that although he never expected to be as high in the points department as he is that over the summer with his training and time dedicated to preparing for the season that he knew he could improve majorly. For his final home game Moore had both parents travel over from P.E.I., something that made the night that much more special.
“They come over whenever they can and I know my dad has travelled many hours as has my mom in the car and I can’t thank them enough and it was really just a great moment here tonight.”
The Crushers wrap up the regular season tonight on the road in Yarmouth before starting the mini-series Monday night in Bridgewater before returning home on Wednesday night for Game 2.
Pictou County Weeks Crushers 7
1st Garrett Holmes from Nick Parker and Jordan Moore 12:20
2nd Garrett Holmes from Mitchell Deruelle from Jordan Moore 3:52
2nd Nick Parker from Mitchell Shewfelt and Jordan Moore 11:13 SH
3rd Andrew Graham 0:54
3rd Nick Parker from Garrett Holmes 2:43
3rd Devan Gunn from Lane Cormier and Jordan McInnis 2:52
3rd Devan Gunn from Jordan McInnis 10:05
Amherst Ramblers 4
1st Kody Orr 1:37
1st Ryan Caswell 9:23
3rd Mitchell O’Neill from Brett Shute and Kody Orr 9:43
3rd Matt Harrison from Brock Morrison 11:44
W: Dylan Frank 25 saves
L: Chase Marchand 25 saves
Richard Tingley 9 saves
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