WESTVILLE ROAD – The Pictou County Crushers win streak has reached seven games.
The Crushers mustered enough offence to beat the Yarmouth Mariners 3-2 in a Maritime Hockey League game on Thursday, clinching the contest when Isaac Chapman scored 12 seconds into overtime, burying a loose puck after a point shot from defenceman Alexis Quane-Arsenault.
“It’s huge, compared to how we did at the start of the year.” captain Evan MacLennan said of the winning streak. “We learned from those (losses) and now we’re going to try to keep rolling with this.”
Yarmouth, who lead the South Division and have lost just five games in regulation all year, got on the board first when Derrick Johnson scored early in the second period. But Andrew Burden responded 21 second later, batting a loose puck into the net past Mariners’ netminder Tyler Caseley.
Eight minutes later, Chase Ellis notched his second goal in just his second game as a Crusher off a pass from Kevin Mason, then Brent Broaders tied the game for Yarmouth with less than six minutes to go in the second period.
The two teams played the last 25 minutes of the game scoreless, leading to overtime.
The Crushers, who traded major offensive producers Jacob Hickey and Dylan Riley to the Summerside Western Capitals on Wednesday, won’t play again until Jan. 17 against the Valley Wildcats.
“It was definitely a big shock to a lot of the guys,” Maclennan said of the blockbuster deal. “Some of the players took it a little hard. We were caught off guard. We didn’t think that was going to happen, based on the stretch of games we’ve had.
“A lot of our guys looked up to those two. We thought we were going to make a playoff push with them, now we have to do it without them.”
In the meantime, the South Shore Lumberjacks, the team the Crushers are chasing in the South Division standings, will play twice at Amherst Stadium against the Ramblers. The Lumberjacks neat the Edmundston Blizzard 5-4 on Thursday and are two points ahead of Pictou County in the standings, with two games in hand.
• Goaltender Matt Normore made 38 saves for Pictou County.
• Defenceman Michael Fradette has nine points in the past eight games (3G, 6A).
• Alexis Quane-Arsenault, also a blueliner, has 10 assists in 12 games.
• With a win on Jan. 17 against the Wildcats on home ice, the Crushers (12-13-5) would reach the .500 mark for the first time since Sept. 27.
• In 10 games since rejoining the Crushers, winger Kevin Mason has 14 points (8G, 6A).
• New ex-Crushers Dylan Riley and Jacob Hickey both played in Summerside’s 6-1 win over the St. Stephen Aces on Thursday. Riley collected an assist in the game.