Crushers snap losing streak, have pair of home games this week
NEW GLASGOW – The next time the Dieppe Commandos and Weeks Crushers could possibly meet after Wednesday night is the Kent Cup.
© CHRISTOPHER CAMERON - THE NEWS
Weeks Crushers forward Jordan McInnis, right, said the team felt great after their win on Friday night to snap their losing streak. He believes their effort is there and they will see a lot of positives if their effort continues.
With Pictou County still having their sights set on winning the MHL and advancing to Fred Page Cup, there’s a chance they could meet again.
For that to happen the Crushers will need to continue breaking out of their slump. They have been showing some positives in recent games, breaking their five-game losing streak on Friday night in Yarmouth before falling to the Valley Wildcats for the second straight game on Saturday.
“I think over the last couple of games we’ve been doing a better job of focusing, but we had been over focusing and putting a lot of pressure on ourselves,” said Crushers assistant captain Jordan McInnis. “We have high expectations of ourselves, so once you lose two and three games you start gripping your sticks tighter and over-focusing. On Friday morning we got on the bus, prepared ourselves and refocused.
“It felt good to get in the win column again, but we had to refocus soon after that because we had a big game Saturday. It was a huge weight off your shoulders when the final buzzer went.”
The Crushers are 1-1-1 against Dieppe so far this season, with all games being one-goal games. Tonight they don’t expect it to be any different or easier as they face the Commandos who are ranked 20th in the nation by the CJHL.
“They are a great team that has a lot of speed, so we’re going to want to get our bodies going to slow them down,” said McInnis. “We really need to grind with them and slow them down because they seem to like the transition game a lot and don’t like the physicality as much. Everyone knows how tight the top teams are right now, so it won’t be easy, but we want to get the two points and get back on top.”
With nine of their final 14 games of the regular season against Eastlink Division teams, points will be worth more as the Crushers try to regain top spot in the MHL, which they lost over the weekend to Dieppe and Truro. Although both games this week are against Roger Meek Division teams they will still help the team get back on track and regain valuable confidence according to McInnis.
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“They (points) are very important as we head down the stretch, especially in division games,” he said. “We lost out on first place last weekend for the first time in a long time. That’s where we want to be at the end of the year, so we need to treat every game like a playoff game until the end of the year and show a lot of heart and tenacity.”
Being a 20-year-old assistant captain McInnis is being looked upon to lead the team in their run this season. He said their struggles as of late have been a good learning curve for them and it’s better it happened now than in March.
“At this point it just seems that everyone can learn from our experiences and realize that every game it’s going to take our full effort to win,” he said. “It seems to be better that it’s happening now than in March. We’ll overcome it, get back on track and get going to work again. Everyone is putting their best effort forward so our team needs to do the same every night. It’s a low point in the season, but those things happen. It’s a long year.”
Brandon Thibeau will get the start in goal for Pictou County.
David Stephens (lower-body) and John Mullally (upper-body) are expected to be out of the Crushers lineup again tonight.
Goals for: 153
Goals against: 106
Record against Dieppe: 1-1-1
Vs. Dieppe Commandos
Goals for: 148
Goals against: 115
Game time: 7 p.m. at the Pictou County Wellness Centre
On Twitter: @NGNewsChris