Crushers seeking seventh straight win

Christopher Cameron
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Pictou County hosts Yarmouth tonight at the Wellness Centre

NEW GLASGOW – On a six-game win streak, the Weeks Crushers are on a roll having not lost a game since Nov. 30 against Amherst.

Weeks Crushers forward Evan Carmody calls for the puck during Saturday’s game against the CIBC Wood Gundy Lumberjacks at the Pictou County Wellness Centre. Carmody expects tonight to be a good test for the Crushers who have split their season series with the Yarmouth Mariners in two meetings so far this year.

During that time they have steadily fallen in the CJHL rankings, but none of that concerns the team as they take things day-by-day and look only at the next game. Tonight their focus is on Yarmouth, one of the teams to hand them one of their eight losses so far this year. 

“We want to have a full 60 minutes obviously because the last couple times we’ve let a one goal lead slip in the last few minutes so we need to play a full 60 minutes and get a good hard win,” said Evan Carmody. “I think they like playing in tough situations and they’ve had a group of guys there for awhile now that have a lot of experience and they seem to know how to play down a goal, so that kind of helps out for them. We just need to stick to the game plan and out-work them.”

It’s their effort that has been a key part of their success this season according to the Charlottetown native. He refers to their “tight-knit” group as a contributing factor to why they continue to hold onto top spot in the MHL.

“We’ve got a good group of guys here that gel good as a team,” he said. “Everyone is here for the same reason, to win, so we just want to keep that going.”

Their reason for being so close is that a number of players have been around the organization for a few years and are on the same page.

“I think that nobody really has an ego or anything like that,” he said. “Everybody is on the same page and there’s a lot of familiar faces from the last couple of years so that helps a lot too.”

In his first full season with the team after coming to the Crushers from the Woodstock Slammers last December, Carmody has played regularly with Brandon Parsons and John Mullally almost since the day he joined the team. With Parsons out of the lineup lately there have been some adjustments, but he said overall when playing with a regular line it allows them to be more successful.

“I’ve been playing with Parsons – although he’s been out for the last few games – and Mullally for awhile now and part of last year, which helps a lot when you’re out there,” he said. “You know each other’s tendencies, which makes a big difference.”

Carmody and his linemates all have over 20 points apiece this season. Parsons (10 goals, 13 assists) and Mullally (nine goals and 14 assists) are tied with 23 points, while Carmody has eight goals and 13 assists for 21 points. Although they are in the top 10 on the team in scoring he said their role isn’t to be relied on offensively.

“We keep it pretty tight in the defensive zone and chip in the odd goals and just be physical out there,” said Carmody about his line’s role. “That’s when we’re at our best is when we’re banging guys around and wearing the other team down.”

Coming off their 5-3 win over the CIBC Wood Gundy Lumberjacks to start the second half of the season they will be less “rusty” according to Carmody. He believes the team will have a better effort tonight after a full week of practice.

“I think we were a bit rusty because we only got on the ice once before Saturday and the guys were a little off,” he said. “I mean we had a lot of breakaways and chances like that, that we normally would’ve scored on, but I mean as far as getting back into the zone it was good we were playing Bridgewater probably, but we’ll be a lot better this week for sure.”

Puck drop tonight is 7 p.m. at the Wellness Centre.

On Twitter: @NGNewsChris

Organizations: Wellness Centre, CIBC Wood Gundy Lumberjacks

Geographic location: Yarmouth, Pictou County, Charlottetown

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