Pictou County record at break similar to 2012-13
TRENTON – The Pictou County Scotians are one win from where they were at the break last year, but they still want to be better.
Pictou County currently sits third in the Sid Rowe Division with a 9-8-2 record behind the Glace Bay Miners and Strait Pirates, who they play tonight on the road.
Head coach Chris Stewart said they are happy with the direction the team has been going recently, having won their last three games, but added they still need to bring in a few players if they want to make a big push after the Christmas break.
“The last few games we’ve played well and made some improvements, but I think we’ve still got a few more that we need to make if we’re going to be competitive down the stretch here,” he said. “We’re looking at a couple more ‘D’ as the main focus and some supporting forwards. We’re in a good position, but I think we need to get a little bit better.”
When asked what it will take to make it past the first round of the playoffs, which they achieved last year before being eliminated in Game 7 against the Strait Pirates, he said they need a little bit more experience.
“I think if we can add a little bit more experience from another organization (it would help us go farther),” he said. “I think we’ve got a good core group of guys now that have obviously been through a seven-game series last year and know what it’s going to take to play, more than likely the Pirates again in the first round. They’re getting ready to host the Don Johnson (Cup), so they’re going to be strong I would think, so we know we need to be as strong or stronger than that.”
Sunday night the Scotians return home to host the Antigonish Bulldogs. Puck drop is 7:30 p.m. at the Trenton Arena.
Stewart said numbers have been low at practice over the past few weeks, but that they have continued to focus on their defensive zone and power play in practice.
“We’ve been down a lot of numbers the last few weeks, but the main focus has been the power play and making sure our key guys are prepared for that,” he said. “That’s one of our strengths, capitalizing on the power play, so if we can get that and minimize the power play goals against with our penalty killing then we can be successful.”
Their first game back after the break is Jan. 4 on the road against the Bay Ducks, with their first home game Jan. 12 against Antigonish. With a few weeks off and most players not getting on the ice over the break Stewart said it’s like a fresh start in the final stretch of the season. He added that the momentum gained before the break can sometimes be lost, but hopes his group can continue in the positive direction they’ve been going.
“Last year it was kind of a fresh start and we got on a pretty good role in the new year,” he said. “Historically I think it’s been a struggle after the new year, going back a few years, but I’m confident this year that we’ve got a good group of guys and have some confidence built over the last few weeks, so we should be pretty good come the new year.”
On Twitter: @NGNewsChris