NSMBHL opens season Sept. 13
© CHRISTOPHER CAMERON - THE NEWS
Kevin Mason of the Scotsburn Major Bantam Crushers gets taken down by a Nova Jr. X-Men defenceman during Thursday’s exhibition game at the Pictou County Wellness Centre. The Scotsburn Crushers have split their two exhibition games thus far.
NEW GLASGOW – The Scotsburn Crushers opened the scoring midway through the first period against the Nova Jr. X-Men, never giving up their lead en route to a 4-2 victory Thursday.
Just a day before the team lost their first exhibition contest of the season, but according to head coach Jeff Green the few lineup changes they made and the players’ efforts made the difference against the Jr. X-Men.
“I think it’s absolutely essential (to show we can compete) because last night we didn’t compete – we had a different lineup mind you and that’s no slight to the people that were in the lineup, but we didn’t compete at all,” said Green. “We were out-shot badly and out-played badly. That was our focus tonight. We wanted to make sure that they competed every minute and I thought we did a very good job of that.”
Last season the team finished last in the Nova Scotia Major Bantam Hockey League with a 3-23-5 record. When Green was hired as the head coach this season he said they want to finish in the middle of the pack or higher for this season. He said he’s happy with the effort he’s witnessed thus far as they work towards that goal.
“I’m very pleased and that meant a lot to me to show that, guess what, we can compete,” said Green. “That’s a lot of it. You need to have that confidence that you’re good enough to be there with any team on any given night and I think we will. We still haven’t played two of our returning ‘D’ yet so we’re pretty confident.”
Green said the team has only been together five times so far, but almost every player is putting in time off-ice to train for the season. He said the effort is there right now, but the coaching staff will need to make sure that stays consistent throughout the season for every game.
“It’s just that whole thing of competing for every loose puck and understanding – we have a young guys, a lot of guys coming out of peewee and this is a whole different level of intensity,” he said. “They need to get used to it and they need to be ready to do that for not only every one of their games, but when we practice as well. That will be a big challenge for us as coaches to make sure we do that with them through the week so they’re ready for that kind of a battle every weekend.”
The Scotsburn Crushers open their NSMBHL regular season Sept. 14 at home against the Newbridge Senators.