WESTVILLE ROAD – They’re at the bottom of the South Division standings and have the MHL’s worst record, but the Junior A Crushers are far from buried.
The Crushers are just a single point behind the Valley Wildcats and six behind the South Shore Lumberjacks – with 35 games to go in the season – as they head into action this week.
“We’ve dig ourselves a little hole here, but it’s nothing we can’t dig ourselves out of,” said veteran forward Barrett Dachyshyn, whose team finally got a win last week after going 43 days without one.
“Winning is like a drug – once you do it once, you want to keep doing it.”
But a buzzkill might not be far away: the next three games are a brutal stretch if the Crushers want to maintain that happy feeling.
The Crushers, who halted a 13-game winless skid with a 5-4 win over the Lumberjacks last Friday, first must deal with the Summerside Western Capitals, a goal-scoring juggernaut that owns the best record in the Maritime Hockey League (12 wins in 15 games) as they head into Thursday’s game at the Pictou County Wellness Centre (7 p.m.).
Pictou County then plays the Bearcats in Truro on Saturday, and have a Tuesday night home game against the division-leading Yarmouth Mariners.
Against South Shore, Isaac Chapman had two goals for Pictou County, Evan Gallant, Evan MacLennan and Dachyshyn also scored in a 5-4 win, as the Lumberjacks tried to fight back from a 5-2 deficit. In the third period, the ’Jacks scored two quick ones to get close and, with a Crushers in the penalty box in the final two minutes, they poured on the pressure in trying to get the equalizer.
“The last two minutes were pretty stressful,” said Evan Gallant said of the game in Lunenburg.
“We realized we had to stop the curse and everybody just beared down. I think it’s a first step and hopefully there’s a lot more to come. We’ve had a lot of unlucky stuff happen on the ice – it doesn’t seem like the puck luck has been on our side at times.”
Last Thursday at home against the Miramichi Timberwolves, Aiden Hickey, Jacob Hickey, Chad Wilson and Mason scored for the Crushers, who rebounded from a 4-0 deficit to tie the game before the T-Wolves won it late, in a 6-4 final.
BY THE NUMBERS
Pictou County Crushers
Record: 2-9-4 (6th place, South Division)
Top Scorers: Barrett Dachyshyn (6G, 10A), Dylan Riley (3G, 12A), Evan MacLennan (7G, 3A).
Stats Say: Pictou County is tied with the Valley Wildcats for having the MHL’s worst goal differential (-23).
Summerside Western Capitals
Record: 12-3-0 (1st place, North Division)
Top Scorers: T.J. Shea (17G, 22A), Brodie MacArthur (9G, 21A), Kallum Muirhead (16G, 11A).
Stats Say: Summerside is averaging slightly more than five goals scored per game (15 games, 76 goals).