Scotsburn Major Bantam Crushers forward Briden Hawes looks for an opportunity to knock the puck off Dartmouth Whalers defencman Brendan Walker’s stick during Sunday’s game at the Pictou County Wellness Centre. The Whalers defeated the Crushers 7-3 in their third meeting of the season.
NEW GLASGOW – From the start of the season the Scotsburn Major Bantam Crushers have come a long way.
Their work ethic is where it needs to be, but when they take a shift off or make a mistake their opponents are capitalizing on it. Assistant coach Kyle MacLennan said the coaching staff is happy overall, but those mistakes are what win or lose games for a team.
The team lost both games over the weekend, 4-1 to the Harbour Storm on Saturday before a 7-3 loss at home against the Dartmouth Whalers yesterday. MacLennan said there were spurts during yesterday’s game that they let up, but overall they played well against Dartmouth.
Grant Fraser, Kevin Mason and Matthew Chediac scored for Scotsburn.
Tyus McSween led the Whalers with two goals, while Cole Mitchell, Brock McLeod, Alex Hector, Tyler Evans and Ben MacQueen rounded out the Darmouth scoring.
Mitchell Cummer faced 32 shots in the loss, while Cole McLaren turned aside 17 for the win.
Although they were down 5-2, and eventually 7-2, Scotsburn never game up as they continued to pressure the Whalers. MacLennan said their group has shown great work ethic all season, but have been doing a better job of not giving up as of late.
“If things aren’t going your way on the scoreboard you need to look for little victories and obviously we want to preach good habits, especially at this stage of the season as we’ll be heading into playoffs pretty soon,” said MacLennan. “We’ve got to preach these good habits and despite what the score is you’re never out of the fight so you just need to keep going and going. In a playoff series if you’re down a couple goals are you gonna quit? Here it just means two points. Then it’s going to mean your season, so we just need to push going forward.
“Even the games we’re up it’s got to be the same thing. You can’t let your foot off the gas.”
Saturday Briden Hawes scored the lone Crushers goal against the Harbour Storm who shut them out 4-0 and 5-0 a week earlier at the East Coach Ice Jam. Another small victory, losing 4-1 this week, MacLennan said there were a few mistakes that proved costly.
“It’s obviously good to break the goose egg that we put up against them the games prior to that, but yesterday besides what the score was I thought we had a pretty good game in regards to what we practiced this week and how to deal with how they set up their offence and their power play,” he said. “What it came down to was a couple blatant mistakes, a couple things we’ve done over and over this year and tried to correct. Like I said, we thought it was a good game yesterday, it was just two or three big errors are the ones that end up in the back of your net and that’s what cost us the game.”
Nolan Garnett, Tyler Hinam, Jack Gillis and Doug D’Arnall scored for the Harbour Storm on Saturday, while Brendan Keeler made 27 saves in goal for the win.
Tyler Howe stopped 29 in the loss for Scotsburn.
The Crushers now have six regular season games before the playoffs, beginning this weekend with a road trip to Lunenburg for a doubleheader with the Western Hurricanes. With the Hurricanes a potential playoff opponent, Scotsburn will use the games this weekend to learn their systems and gain some confidence against them.
In practice this week they will focus on their habits, having good defensive zone coverage and what the coaches want from them offensively to maximize their chances.
“As far as where we started and where we are now I think there is a huge difference, so we have to be happy with that and how they’re learning and improving both on and off the ice,” said MacLennan.
“In a months time it’s win or go home, so it’s those habits and how we execute that’s what we need to work on. We say in the room all the time that it’s never a question of work ethic, it’s just a question of our execution and that’s what we have to be better at and what we’re going to work at going forward.”
On Twitter: @NGNewsChris