WESTVILLE ROAD, N.S. –
Things are a little less complicated when it comes to the Crushers making the Maritime Junior Hockey League playoffs.
They’re still complicated, but the Crushers know what’s right in front of them and what they need to do in the final weekend of the regular season.
“On the emotional side, we won’t require any buy-in,” coach Doug Doull said this week. “We have to have success in order to advance.”
The Junior A Crushers can make the playoffs if:
A) They beat the Lumberjacks twice in their home-and-home series this week (7 p.m. Thursday at the Pictou County Wellness Centre, Friday in South Shore), with at least one of those games ending in regulation time,
b.) Or, if the Crushers earn at least three points against South Shore and the Bearcats lose Saturday to the Amherst Ramblers in regulation.
The Crushers returned from a three-game stretch in New Brunswick this past weekend, a road trip that started with a 7-3 win over the Grand Falls Rapids on March 1. Jaden Mason and Kevin Mason each scored twice in that game, Evan MacLennan, Chase Ellis and Isaac Chapman also had goals for Pictou County.
From there, however, the Crushers’ offence went south; they lost 6-0 Saturday to the Edmundston Blizzard and 1-0 in a Sunday matinee tilt against the St. Stephen Aces in a game they could have easily won.
“We’ve moved on from those games,” Doull said. “We can only look at what’s ahead.”
The Crushers, with two games remaining in the regular season, are two points behind both the South Shore Lumberjacks and Truro Bearcats, but would lose out on any tiebreaking scenario against either of those teams.
“It’s pretty much a mini playoff series in our minds,” said captain Evan MacLennan. “Thursday and Friday is a two out of three playoffs series, where we are already down one before it starts. Winning is our only option.”
BY THE NUMBERS:
Pictou County Crushers
Record: 22-19-7 (5th place, South Division)
Top Scorers: Barrett Dachyshyn (17G, 36A), Sam Meisenheimer (16G, 24A), Evan Gallant (14G, 18A)
Stats Say: The Crushers are 10-1-1 at home since Dec. 13.
South Shore Lumberjacks
Record: 25-20-3 (3rd place, South Division)
Top Scorers: Nicolas Tardif (28G, 36A), Christian Tsukamoto (24G, 32A), Logan O’Neil (26G, 28A)
Stats Say: The Lumberjacks have won six of its past seven games.