Scotians defencemen sees increased role in second season
TRENTON – With a few leaders leaving the Pictou County Scotians at the end of last season there have been players that naturally stepped into those roles this year, including Matthew Oldfield on the blue line.
© ChrISTOPHER CAMERON - THE NEWS
Matthew Oldfield is being looked to as a leader on the Pictou County Scotians blue line after joining the team last season. In eight games this season he has one point in eight games.
The 19-year-old from Dartmouth joined the Scotians last year after meeting their current captain Brandon Verge through residence hockey at St. FX. Although this is the highest level of hockey he’s played, he spent three years with Dartmouth High School and was affiliated with the midget AAA Subways.
Coming in after the season had already started he looked up to the senior players on the team, but has taken on a bigger role this year, especially with the lack of defencemen at this time.
“Last year there were a couple older guys that I was able to look up to and base my play off of,” he said. “They taught me a couple things. I haven’t been in this league that long, so there was a couple things to learn, but now I’m in one of the leading positions for defence. It’s a little more pressure and I’m playing a lot of ice time and double shifted a lot of the time, but I’m adjusting.”
He said that playing a lot of ice time can be exhausting, but sometimes adrenaline kicks in to keep him going.
“It depends on the situation and depends on the game because if we’re down a bunch of goals then you don’t feel the best when you’re out for a lot of them, but if I’m playing with confidence and getting a lot of ice time then I feel fine.”
Sunday night the Pictou County Scotians host the Cumberland County Blues at the Trenton Rink in their lone game of the weekend. Puck drop is 7:30 p.m.
The Scotians are coming off a 3-2 upset victory over the Glace Bay Miners last Sunday, which was a major confidence boost for the team according to Oldfield.
“It was huge and all the players are feeling good after that game,” he said. “It was a huge win giving Glace Bay their first loss in regular time, especially after the last couple of games. It showed when we work together and stay strong throughout the whole game without giving up we can definitely pull a win off against the best teams in the league.
“Especially with some of the newer guys that haven’t been around with the team for too long that may not exactly be sure about the whole league it was good to show them we can hang in with some of the best teams even after some early losses this season.”
Leading into last week’s game, and again this week, the focus at practice has been on special teams and defensive play in their own end. Oldfield said that they’ve blown leads or games by struggling with those aspects of their game in the third period.
“One of the things we’ve been working on a lot is our power play,” he said. “We’ve been getting lots of opportunities, but haven’t been capitalizing on a lot of them, which is why we’re losing some of our games, especially in the later parts of the games or third period. We need to capitalize on all the opportunities we get.”
Personally he’s confident in his defensive play, but with only one assist in eight games he wants to contribute more on the score sheet.
“I’m trying to create a little more offence because personally I believe my defensive play is decent, so I’m trying to create a couple more scoring opportunities for the team and get a couple more points on the board as well,” said Oldfield. “Physical play is a big part of the game and I’m constantly trying to increase that as well as just fast puck movement and smarter decisions with the puck.”
On Twitter: @NGNewsChris