Scotians captain says teams are trying to match lines
© CHRISTOPHER CAMERON - THE NEWS
Brandon Verge poses at the Trenton Rink before the Pictou County Scotians practice on Wednesday night. Verge was named the captain of the team last year. He’s also coming off a successful season in which he led the NSJHL in scoring.
TRENTON – After leading the Pictou County Scotians on the ice last season, Brandon Verge was officially given the ‘C’ for this season.
He will be looked to as a leader on the ice still, but is welcoming the added responsibility that comes with being a captain at the junior level.
“It felt great to know that everyone believes in me and that I can show my leadership on and off the ice,” he said. “I just want to show little things that people may not see on the ice, like how I can help people out, like rookies and stuff. They feel confident that I can do it as a 20-year-old, not as an over-ager.”
With a number of 20-year-olds on the roster, Verge said he wasn’t sure what decision the coaching staff would make. He felt it could be him, but wouldn’t have been surprised if it was someone else.
“I knew there were a couple guys that were in the mix; Tim Robertson, (Lucas) Esh(leman) and Brad always had a chance,” he said. “I knew there were a couple of us, but I felt very privileged to accept it when they told me in the dressing room and was ready to accept the challenge.”
Returning for his second season in the NSJHL, Verge and his linemates are no longer a “hidden secret” when it comes to the scoring prowess. Teams are looking to shut them down more than ever. He believes they’ll be able to outplay their opponent’s top defensive players.
“When we’re on away games teams do have their top line that they try to match up with us, so we may need to counterattack by splitting us up and putting two on one line and one on the other or something,” said Verge. “Everyone has their top defensive line and that’s just where we need to push through and become better than what their defensive line is basically and show our dominance.”
Individually he said his focus is simply playing his game as he’s comfortable with whoever is on his line.
“I just try to stick to a simple game,” he said. “I’m obviously more of an offensive-minded player. I know what my linemates are capable of and know where I should be going when they have the puck. We’re ready to work through the adversity of facing the other team’s top defensive line.”
This Saturday the team travels to Glace Bay to face the Miners before returning home for their second home game of the season on Sunday against the Brookfield Elks. Puck drop is 7:30 p.m. at the Trenton Rink.
This week the team has been focused on their defensive play according to Verge. He said their offence is strong, but they’re scrambling too much on defence.
“You could see in our first couple of games that we had 12 goals in three games, so our offence is there, but on defence we’re giving up too many shots,” said Verge. “We’re giving up 40 to 50 shots a game and we’re scrambling, so that’s likely the biggest thing right now.”
On Twitter: @NGNewsChris