WESTVILLE ROAD – Oh, that third period.
The Junior A Crushers play a rare Tuesday night home game this week, when the division-leading Yarmouth Mariners visit the Pictou County Wellness Centre (PCWC) for a 7 p.m. game.
While their 2-10-5 record isn’t making anyone happy over on Westville Road, the Crushers have been close in a lot of their losses; nine of them have been one-goal defeats, and in 10 of their 15 losses (five have been in overtime or a shootout), they’ve been tied or held a lead in the third period.
“It's mental, some of it attributed to youth, but leaders have to lead,” said coach Doug Doull.
“Staying power is not enough. At some point, we have to get results.”
It isn’t all doom and gloom for Pictou County a win over Yarmouth would pull them into a fifth-place tie with the Valley Wildcats and would also put the Crushers within five points of the South Shore Lumberjacks, who are in the division’s final playoff spot (Yarmouth, Amherst and Truro are all pulling away from the bottom three teams in the South Division).
“We have 10 first-year players,” Doull said.
“In 17 games this season I can think of only two of them that have lacked the required effort. I recall only one bad practice – and they heard about it. This is a terrific group of kids. They really seem to like each other, but our staff is also hoping they hold each other accountable now and get some wins here.”
The Crushers’ third-period woes continued in two games this past week: Saturday in Truro, the Bearcats edged the Crushers 2-1 in overtime, with Shaun Bily getting the game-winner less than two minutes into the extra session. Jake Martin potted his first goal of the season for Pictou County (assisted by Cam Scott) and Gavin Hart also scored for the Bearcats.
Last Thursday at the PCWC, the Summerside Western Capitals scored four times in the third period to erase a 2-1 Pictou County lead and win 5-2. Brodie MacArthur had three goals to lead the Capitals, Dylan Riley and Evan MacLennan scored for Pictou County.
BY THE NUMBERS
Pictou County Crushers
Record: 2-10-5 (6th place, South Division)
Top Scorers: Barrett Dachyshyn (6G, 10A), Dylan Riley (4G, 12A), Evan MacLennan (8G, 3A).
Stats Say: The Crushers are averaging 2.35 goals per game.
Record: 14-3-0 (1st place, South Division)
Top Scorers: Brett Crossley (9G, 15A), Andrew Martell (12G, 11A), Matt Barron (7G, 16A).
Stats Say: Yarmouth averages 2.27 goals against per game, best in the MHL.