The Junior A Crushers wrapped up their home schedule Thursday with a 4-3 overtime loss against the Truro Bearcats.
After an intense 60 minutes of play, the Crushers hurt themselves with a bad line change as the teams played three-on-three in overtime. Truro’s Campbell Pickard tracked down a loose puck and had all night to deke goaltender Luke Melanson for the game-winner, ending what had been an entertaining game at the Pictou County Wellness Centre.
The Crushers, intent on ending their home portion of the season on a high note, gave up an early goal to Bearcats’ Alex MacDonald, then Alex Bonaparte set up Evan MacLennan after a Truro turnover, and MacLennan tied the game.
Cameron MacLeod got that one back on a Truro power play to end the period 2-1, but Jacob Hickey notched his team-leading 28th goal of the season, with a deft deflection off a Dylan Riley shot.
The Crushers, who are 2-0-1 in their last three games, outshot Truro 31-24.
“If you dissect our games, we have played some solid hockey in the second half,” of the season, coach Doug Doull said.
“(Thursday) was no exception. The scoreboard isn't always the correct measurement for commitment.”
Pictou County finally got a lead four minutes into the final frame on a goal from Nick Jessome, but Jessome later took a five-minute major for slew-footing a Bearcat, MacLennan was dinged with a slashing penalty and, with the Bearcats on a two-man advantage, Pickard tied the game for Truro, who will play the Yarmouth Mariners in the first round of the Maritime Hockey League playoffs.
“I thought we played well – we battled,” Doull said.
“As we have stated to (the players), being defeated is often a temporary condition; the value in never giving up lasts forever.”
The Crushers’ final game of the season is Saturday at the Amherst Ramblers.