WESTVILLE ROAD – To borrow a phrase from Crushers assistant coach Willie MacDonald, “we’ve got one more kick at the can.”
If the Junior A club are to have any hope of making the Maritime Hockey League playoffs, then beating the Truro Bearcats on Tuesday is a must-do.
Pictou County knocked off the St. Stephen Aces by a 6-1 margin on Saturday, salvaging a win out of a two-game trip to New Brunswick, and that, coupled with Truro’s loss against the Summerside Western Capitals, moved Pictou County to within eight points of the final playoff spot.
That sets up a Tuesday game against the Bearcats (7:30 p.m. at the Pictou County Wellness Centre), where a win would get the Crushers closer – it would still be a longshot, but that’s better than no-shot – while a regulation loss would officially eliminate Pictou County from post-season contention.
Doug Doull was an economics major in university and worked with numbers on Toronto’s Bay Street for awhile, “but I don’t need that to understand the math,” the Crushers head coach said on Sunday.
“We’ve put ourselves in a position where we need a real strong finish here.”
Against the Aces, Michael Dill had a goal and set up four others, Nick Jessome and Marc Gagnon each had two goals and an assist and Alex Bonaparte also tallied for Pictou County, his fifth in the last seven games.
Jeremy D’Auray replied for the Aces.
Friday in Woodstock, Pictou County led the Slammers 3-2 going into the third period, but Woodstock struck twice on the power play and won it 4-3.
Dill had a goal and assisted twice, Dylan Riley and Marc Gagnon also scored. Conor MacLean had two for Woodstock.
Doull said he’s happy with the way the Crushers have been playing, even if they haven’t been getting the results they wanted: they’ve been minimizing shots and playing a strong defensive game for the most part (25, 23 and 20 shots against in their last three games respectively), but “when we take our foot of the pedal, then we get behind and we’re chasing the game.”
He said he hasn’t really talked about the South Division standings very much with his team – it’s probably not necessary at this point.
“I don’t think I’ve brought it up even once. They look at the standings, I’m sure, and they know exactly where we are.”