Crushers dominate Ramblers in statement game

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Both teams meet next week in Eastlink Division semifinal

NEW GLASGOW – There is still hockey to be played, but Thursday night was special for a number of reasons for Daniel MacLeod and the Crushers 20-year-olds.

Each 20-year-old was presented with a photo box before the game, which captured their time with the Weeks Hockey Organization. They were also brought out onto the ice one-by-one, skating through their younger teammates, a ceremony they do annually.

The Crushers went on to win their final game, a preview of their Eastlink Division semifinal, 4-0 over the Amherst Ramblers. MacLeod said it was the 1,136 fans in the building that made the night special.

“I just think it was how the whole community came out to support us because the standings were set, so it could’ve been just the opposite (not many people come out),” said MacLeod. “They’re always there to support us though, so I think that’s it (most special part of the night) right there.”

MacLeod joined the Crushers in the 2011-12 season for his first full season, posting two goals and 10 assists in his 47 games.

This season and last he played 50 and 49 games respectively, becoming a mainstay on the Pictou County blue-line in his three years with the organization. He said it’s hard to know where the time went.

“It was extremely special because you grow up watching the guys and the next thing you know you’re a first-year guy trying to make yourself seen and the next thing you know it’s almost over,” he said. “It happens so fast, but it’s really special to have so many people out, especially for our last game.”

Being the first player called to the ice Thursday night, MacLeod was the first to be cheered by his hometown crowd, although he had a good idea what to expect having been on the ice when former 20-year-old players skated onto the ice in prior years.

“When you’re standing there watching the 20s come out you’re thinking that’s days so far away, you don’t even see it coming,” he said. “It’s crazy how fast the time flew by and to have everyone cheering it felt pretty special, especially in my hometown.”

He said there were some nerves about being the first one out and slipping, but once he hit the ice it was fine.

“The mat sometimes moves on you and when you hit the ice I’ve been known to slip before, so I watched my footing pretty closely with everyone watching.”

New Glasgow’s Garrett Holmes helped the Crushers with two goals en route to their 4-0 win, setting the stage for Thursday night’s Game 1 against the Ramblers. Jordan McInnis and Evan MacEachern also added goals for Pictou County, with Brandon Thibeau making 29 saves for the win.

“It feels good to get the win under our belt, but at the end of the day playoffs is a whole different story and we both had guys out,” he said. “You expect, especially with a team like Amherst that they’re going to come out hitting and never give up, so we’ve got to be prepared for that and try to set the tone.”

 

Scoring

Pictou County Weeks Crushers 4

1st Garrett Holmes from John Mullally and Mitchell Deruelle 9:28

2nd Garrett Holmes from Mitchell Deruelle and John Mullally 5:36

2nd Jordan McInnis from Evan MacEachern and David Stephens 5:53

3rd Evan MacEachern from Daniel MacLeod 7:10

 

Amherst Ramblers 0

No scoring

 

Shots                              

Crushers 39

Ramblers 29

 

Power play

Crushers 0-3

Ramblers 0-2

 

W: Brandon Thibeau 29 saves

L: Billy Clarke 35 saves

Organizations: Ramblers Eastlink Division, Wellness Centre

Geographic location: Pictou County, Amherst

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