Weeks battle Newbridge in league quarterfinals

Christopher Cameron
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Pictou County wins six of final 10 regular season games

NEW GLASGOW – After a rough start to the season and lots of scrutiny about their play as hosts of the Atlantic Midget Hockey Championships, the Weeks Major Midgets are rolling as they head into the playoffs.

Weeks Major Midgets

They aren’t perfect, but the team has won six of their last 10 and has won two of their last three against the Newbridge Gladiators, who they will face in the first round of the NSMMHL playoffs. The team wrapped up the regular season in sixth, one position and one point ahead of where they were last year.

“It’s definitely important because you want to go into the playoffs on a high note, playing well and obviously it doesn't matter in October where you’re at in your game, it matters when you’re going into the playoffs,” said head coach Dave MacIntyre on his team’s improvement in the second half of the season. “Obviously we would’ve rather had a better season, but if we can learn from those mistakes and put them to use coming into the first round, that’s what we aim to do and yesterday was a good stepping stone.”

Over the weekend they finished their regular season with a 1-0 loss at home to the first-place Halifax McDonalds, who they were unable to beat in five regular season meetings this season. Their most recent meeting in league play was Oct. 16, which they lost 3-1, although they lost 2-1 to them on Jan. 11 at the East Coast Ice Jam.

“It was a great game and could’ve gone either way,” said MacIntyre. “We had plenty of chances and it was back-and-forth. I think Vokey hit the crossbar with less than 10 minutes left. We had a power play too and couldn’t buy a goal, but at the end of the day their goalie played well and our goalie played well. Both teams played well and it was a good game to end the season on.”

Their series with Newbridge is expected to start this weekend in Dartmouth before returning to the Wellness Centre the following weekend, although the game schedule was not finalized as of Monday evening.

This week in practice the team will continue the work they have been doing the last month, but will also incorporate some video analysis.

“We have some video that we’ll watch and some tendencies they use on their power play, killing penalties and their forecheck, just to break the game down a little bit in the neutral zone and those type of things,” he said. “We had three games with them in the past few weeks, so we have a pretty good understanding what kind of style they play. They have a skilled, young team and in order for us to beat them we’re going to have to play a hard-nosed, physical, blue-collar type hockey game.”

Starting on the road isn’t a negative according to MacIntyre. Winning both of their games against Newbridge this season on the road shows that they can win in Dartmouth, which he hopes they can do starting this weekend with the first game.

“On a positive note, the last three times we played them, two of them were in Dartmouth and we won those two,” he said. “That’s a positive we can take into the game, saying the last two times we played here at this rink we’ve beat them. We want to use that as a motivational tool and make sure the guys are ready. It’s better than going into a barn that you haven’t won in all year.”

 

christopher.cameron@gmail.com       

On Twitter: @NGNewsChris

Organizations: Newbridge, NSMMHL, Wellness Centre

Geographic location: Pictou County, Dartmouth

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