YARMOUTH, N.S. – The Junior A Crushers are finally looking down on the South Shore Lumberjacks.
Barrett Dachyshyn’s goal midway through the third period held up as the Crushers won for the ninth time in 10 games on Saturday, a 1-0 road win against the Yarmouth Mariners that allowed them to pull one point ahead of the Lumberjacks in the South Division standings. The two MHL clubs appear destined to fight for the final playoff spot the rest of the way.
“There was a lot of tough times early in the year and a lot of people definitely counted us out back then, but we put our heads down and kept chugging away,” said Crushers’ captain Evan MacLennan.
“There’s definitely a lot more work to do and we know we can’t let off an inch.”
He called the win over Yarmouth “an ‘own the wall’ kind of game. We earned our offence from our defensive zone. We did a lot of little things right and it eventually paid off for us.”
In a scoreless game in front of more than 1,200 fans at Mariners Centre, Dachyshyn buried a rebound off a Kevin Mason shot and goaltender Matt Normore shut the door the rest of the way against the division-leading Mariners.
“We played heavy and for each other,” said coach Doug Doull.
“Everyone contributed on both sides of the puck. Normy was outstanding, especially in (the second period).”
The Crushers had their eight-game winning streak snapped against South Shore on Friday, a 5-4 shootout loss to the Lumberjacks. Chase Ellis had two goals for Pictou County, Dachyshyn and Malcolm Genge also scored.
On Jan. 17 at the Pictou County Wellness Centre (PCWC), the Crushers beat the Valley Wildcats 6-4. Isaac Chapman, Andrew Burden, Evan Gallant, Jake Martin, Ryan MacLellan and Evan MacLennan all tallied for the Crushers, and Dachyshyn recorded three assists. Alex Drover had a hat trick for Valley.
The Crushers have salvaged the season with their recent run, but the journey is far from over.
“We’re not looking too far ahead at all – one game at a time,” Doull said. “The boys have an appreciation being in the playoff picture for sure, but by no means are we satisfied.”
• Goaltender Matt Normore now has four shutouts this season, tied with Summerside’s Dominik Tmej for the league lead.
• Malcolm Genge and Ryan MacLennan, both defencemen, each scored their first goal of the season on the weekend.
• Barrett Dachyshyn has put up 13 points in his past six games (5G, 8A).
• The Crushers are 11-2-1 since Nov. 22.
• Pictou County (14-13-6) play the Truro Bearcats (21-11-3) this coming Thursday at the PCWC.