PICTOU COUNTY – After opening with a 3-1 victory to shock the 2013 Fred Page Cup host Truro Bearcats, the Weeks Crushers did it again at home Tuesday night winning 4-3 to put Truro back on their heels, now down 2-0 in the series to the Crushers.
Brandon Thibeau shined in goal for the Crushers making 38 saves for the victory, while Shayne Campbell took the loss making 19 saves for Truro.
Pictou County’s top line continued to lead in the Eastlink Division semifinal series, with Nick Parker and Mitchell Deruelle finding the back of the net once each, while combining with Holmes for five points.
Tyler Doyle and Jordan McInnis scored the two other Crushers markers, while Jordan Coccimigilio scored all three Bearcats goals.
“I think our will to win was a lot more than theirs because they didn’t seem to want to make the checks or make the plays needed to win and that was huge,” said McInnis. “We’re not the big team, but willed our way through and dug deep for a win.”
The Crushers opened the scoring midway through the first period, before Coccimigilio tied the game with a shorthanded marker. With nine seconds remaining in the period Parker scored on the power play to take a 2-1 lead into the first intermission.
Just 1:57 into the second Deruelle extended the Crushers lead before Coccimigilio’s second goal closed the gap to within one again. Doyle scored the fourth Pictou County goal 8:51 into the second off a Corey Bennett pass from the sideboards to go up 4-2, a lead they held going into the final period.
“When you get up 4-2 in a playoff game you don’t sit back, but you start to play more systematic and just try to manage the puck the best you can,” said McInnis. “You don’t want to get in an odd man rush situation so we just managed the puck the best we could to keep them from getting in scoring position and out of our zone.”
Coccimigilio scored the lone marker in the third as the Crushers went on to win 4-3.
Game 3 goes Thursday night in Truro at the Rath Eastlink Community Centre, with the puck drop at 7 p.m. McInnis said he doesn’t expect the team to be over confident and that they expect a tougher Bearcats team.
“I don’t know if we expected to be up 2-0, but we didn’t want to lose them so went out hoping to win, so in a round about way we expected to get this lead,” he said. “This is a huge rivalry so it’s not hard to get up for these ones and you want to play your best every time you play these guys. I don’t think we have a very over confident team. We’re a bunch of work horses so we’ll get back in that mentality for Thursday night.”
Weeks Crushers 4
1st Jordan McInnis from Cody Squires and Devan Gunn 8:27
1st Nick Parker from Evan Carmody and Garrett Holmes 19:51 PP
2nd Mitchell Deruelle from Nick Parker and Garrett Holmes 1:57
2nd Tyler Doyle from Corey Bennett 8:51
Truro Bearcats 3
1st Jordan Coccimigilio 10:34 SH
2nd Jordan Coccimigilio from Kyle Morrison and Zack Evans-Renaud 3:38 PP
3rd Jordan Coccimigilio from Zack Evans-Renaud and Kyle Morrison 8:48 PP
W: Brandon Thibeau 41 saves
L: Shayne Campbell 24 saves