Crushers can clinch with win

Christopher Cameron
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Pictou County travels to Amherst tonight for Game 6

NEW GLASGOW – Through five games the trend has continued – the home team has won each game of the Pictou County and Amherst series.

Weeks Crushers forward Daniel MacLeod celebrates the first goal of the Eastlink Division semifinal series between the Crushers and Amherst Ramblers during Game 1 at the Pictou County Wellness Centre. Tonight MacLeod and the Crushers can clinch the series with a win in Amherst. 

The hope is for that to end tonight in Game 6 of the Eastlink Division semifinal between the two teams.

“It’s all about our start and we’ve just got to keep it to simple hockey, especially in that rink,” he said. “I think we just need to keep it simple and move the puck quick, get the puck in deep and see if we can at least hold them from scoring because if they score early on it could be a big momentum builder for them as well.”

It looked like Pictou County would be the first away team to pick up a win as they went ahead 2-0 in the first period in Amherst for Game 4. Eventually the Ramblers came back to tie the game twice in the second en route to a 5-4 win in the third.

“Amherst themselves are built for that rink (Amherst Stadium) and once you give them a little bit of momentum they ride off the crowd and it gets them going, but I think a big thing that got them going was they would just put the puck deep on us and come hard on the forecheck,” said MacInnis about their Game 4 loss. “We need to do a better job of getting the puck up quick. Our defence need to get the puck out quicker and our forwards need to get back quicker to help out our ‘D.’ I think we struggled with that and weren’t really on the same page for most of that game.”

The Crushers proved they could come from behind to win themselves, also coming back from a 2-0 deficit in the first period to win 5-2 in Game 5 at the Wellness Centre on Saturday. MacInnis said after allowing Amherst to come back with a win it was crucial to take the momentum back.

“It was a huge game for us because even after the first period in the locker room within the boys there was a lot of things said that we needed to improve on and then Jason (Malone) came in and mentioned that as well,” he said. “It’s just nice to know that our team isn’t all talk and we can walk the walk as well. It was huge to come out and play like we did and after the game it was sweet to know that we were down two goals with two periods left and came back to not only dominate them offensively, but not really give them too many chances.”

In his first MHL playoffs of his career MacInnis said the series has proved to be more than he could’ve hoped for so far.

“It’s the rivalry I guess between us and Amherst that adds to it as well, but this series you see a lot of guys playing through bumps and bruises, trying to bring out the best hockey they’ve played all year,” he said. “We have a great fan base here in Pictou and then over in Amherst their fans are goin’ and it’s definitely a different atmosphere around the rink this time of year. It’s more than I thought it was and I just love playing in it.”

(UPDATED 10 a.m. March 26) Tonight’s game has been cancelled due to weather. Games 6 and 7 will shift to Friday and Saturday instead of Wednesday and Thursday.

“The biggest thing for us to close this series is just to stick to our game plan and keep it simple like we’ve been trying to do all year.” said MacInnis. “Us as a team hope this is the last one (of the series) we play and I think the boys are ready to make sure it’s the last one we play.”

 

 

Game day

Weeks Crushers 

Power play: 8-24 (30%)

PIM: 93

Shots: 103

Vs. Amherst Ramblers 

Power play: 4-19 (21.1%)

PIM: 115

Shots: 181

Game time: 7 p.m. at the Amherst Stadium

Pictou County leads series 3-2

 

Organizations: Eastlink Division, Wellness Centre

Geographic location: Amherst Stadium, Pictou County

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