Scotians hope to take momentum in series

Christopher Cameron
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Pictou County hosts Strait for Game 3 Wednesday

TRENTON – Never letting up and holding momentum will be crucial to the Scotians advancing through the first round of the NSJHL playoffs.

Pictou County Scotians forward Bradley MacEachen, right, looks for a pass during Sunday night’s Game 2 against the Strait Pirates. Pictou County defeated the Pirates 5-2 to tie their best-of-seven series 1-1. 

Friday night Pictou County was unable to get the all-important second goal on the road against the Strait Pirates, who bounced back and eventually won Game 1 of their best-of-seven series with the Scotians 4-2.

At home for Game 2 on Sunday night Lucas Eshleman opened the scoring 3:16 into the first period on the power play, but Keenan Lima’s first goal midway through the period was just as important to holding the momentum.

“We wanted to keep the pressure on and knew the second goal was critical,” said head coach Chris Stewart. “Even at three goals we wanted to keep the play to them and keep the pressure on. After three goals we did relax some, but not too much. In this league you can’t take a lead for granted because things can turn around quite quickly.”

Lima added his second of the game with 4:35 remaining in the first to give the Scotians a 3-0 lead heading into the intermission.

In the second both teams each scored two goals, with Craig Matheson and Brandon Verge scoring for the Scotians, while Mitchell Balmas and Gavyn Connell-Helle scored for Strait.

Neither team scored in the third period as Spencer Scott went on to make 41 saves in the Scotians 5-2 win. Keagan Butler stopped 27 in the loss.

Stewart said the coaching staff and players realized home important winning Game 2 was, so that they didn’t fall behind 2-0 in the series. He said all the players put their best effort forward because they knew giving up a win on home ice would make winning the best-of-seven series tougher.

“It’s a huge game as far as momentum,” said Stewart. “We hope to continue building on the momentum from Sunday night. We were excited to finish the game Sunday and are pumped for Wednesday.”

Game 3 goes Wednesday night at the Trenton Arena with puck drop at 7:30 p.m. Friday the two teams will meet again in Port Hawkesbury for Game 4. Stewart said the Pirates used home ice to their advantage in Game 1, but Pictou County hopes to curb that for the rest of the series.

“They definitely used their line changes and matchups to their advantage at home to start the series, but we realized that and will make sure we do our best to make matchups work in our favour on Friday,” he said. “I think we also need to come out and put the effort forward that is required and minimize mistakes. We’ll also want to draw on the experience in our lineup because right now Port Hawkesbury is dressing five AP players, so our group should be able to use their experience from last year and this year to their advantage.”

 

christopher.cameron@ngnews.ca

On Twitter: @NGNewsChris

Geographic location: Trenton

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