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Crushers back home for tilt with Tigers

Jake Martin of the Pictou County Crushers battles with Ryan Semple of the Yarmouth Mariners on Jan. 3.
Jake Martin of the Pictou County Crushers battles with Ryan Semple of the Yarmouth Mariners on Jan. 3. - Tina Comeau

First game of 2020 at Pictou County Wellness Centre

WESTVILLE ROAD, N.S. – The Pictou County Weeks Crushers would like to conjure up some of their pre-Christmas magic when they start their 2020 home schedule on Jan. 9.
“The break for us was probably a bad thing,” Crushers coach Mike Danton said this week, as his team prepared for the Campbellton Tigers.
“We were playing well and had some momentum, and that eight days away meant eight days of getting out of shape.” 
The Crushers, who went 12-3-1 in November and December, will host the Tigers for a 7 p.m. start at the Pictou County Wellness Centre. As of late, the Tigers have been on the prowl: they haven’t lost in regulation in seven games and are 4-0-3 in that stretch, as they look to move up in the standings of the MHL’s North Division.
“They’re well-coached, a hard-working team with structure,” Danton said. “If we don’t come to play, we’re going to be in trouble.”
Pictou County lost two on the road last weekend. They didn’t play well in a 4-3 loss to Yarmouth on Jan. 3, missing some quality scoring chances and getting into penalty trouble, then suffered a 6-0 beating at the hands of the Amherst Ramblers the next night.
“The score was indicative of our play,” Danton said of the game in Amherst. “We didn’t even show up. We had maybe three guys who played well, and that’s not good enough.”

THE WEEK THAT WAS
Yarmouth 4, Pictou County 3
In Yarmouth on Jan. 3, Evan Gallant, Chase Ellis and Sullivan Sparkes had goals for Pictou County, who at one point were tied 2-2 with the Mariners in the third period. Matt Barron had three assists for Yarmouth, and Michael Johnson’s goal midway through the final period would stand as the eventual winner. 

Amherst 6, Pictou County 0
At Amherst Stadium on Jan. 4, Robert Burt had two goals and Bradley Dawe had a goal and two assists as the Ramblers poured it on, outshooting Pictou County 45-23 in the lopsided final.

BY THE NUMBERS

Pictou County Crushers

Record: 18-11-1 (2nd place, South Division)

Top Scorers: Dallas Farrell (22G, 18A), Sullivan Sparkes (6G, 22A), Logan Vande Meerakker (10G, 17A), Keenan Gillis (4G, 16A), Andrew Burden (9G, 9A).

Stats Say: The Crushers have been shorthanded 153 times this season, more than any other team in the league. Their penalty killing is second best in the MHL at 87.6 per cent.

Campbellton Tigers

Record: 15-10-5 (4th place, North Division)

Top Scorers: Charles William-Gagne (16G, 19A), Pascal Valcourt (10G, 24A), William Basque (13G, 19A), Maxime Charest (7G, 18A), Sam McKinney (5G, 19A).

Stats Say: The Tigers have scored 40 goals in its last six games.

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