MOUNT WILLIAMS, NS – The Junior A Crushers had a ‘work day’ on Sept. 25 as they prepare to face off against the Truro Bearcats.
“It was a battle practice, trying to get us in the mindset for Thursday,” said forward Barrett Dachyshyn (it’s pronounced like ‘decision’), who was the last to leave the ice Tuesday, working on his shot and hand quickness.
“It was a work day – a lot of battle drills, a lot of skating and I think it was good for us to get a little test, just to get a little taste for Thursday.”
It didn’t take long for Dachyshyn, a native of Halifax, to notice some chippiness between the Crushers and Bearcats, who meet Sept. 27 at the Pictou County Wellness Centre.
“The rivalry is alive and well in Pictou County and that’s good. We had two exhibition games against them in the pre-season (and) it seems that we hate them, they hate us.”
Dachyshyn (2G, 5A) and Dylan Riley (1G, 6A) are tied for the team lead in points and Evan MacLennan has three goals, as does Aiden Hickey.
“Dylan has a high hockey IQ. He knows where the pucks going to be and knows where the players are going to be,” Dachyshyn said.
“I think it’s good to have Evan on a line like ours. Evan and I are too big guys who play physical in the corners. Evan likes to throw the body around, but he can also find the back of the net.”
The Crushers (1-1-2) lost two road games last weekend – 3-2 against the Yarmouth Mariners and a 5-4 defeat at the hands of the South Shore Lumberjacks – to stretch their winless streak to three games, and the Bearcats are 2-0.
Truro has wins over the St. Stephen Aces and the Valley Wildcats, and were due to play the Amherst Ramblers Sept. 26 in the Hubtown.
“I think Barrett can really round out his game for us,” Crushers coach Doug Doull said of Dachshysn, who was a training camp cut of the Halifax Mooseheads after spending three years there.
“He can be an all-situation player, a big guy, physical, just an overall presence.”
Dachyshyn said he holds no grudges about the situation with the Mooseheads.
“I don’t have anything bad to say about the Mooseheads. I didn’t exceed their expectations – I don’t think I exceeded own expectations – so they decided to part ways, I guess,” he said.
“But I’m glad Doug and (assistant coach/general manager Chad MacDavid) offered me a spot to come down here. I’m loving it so far. The fans have been great – they know who you are when you’re on the Crushers.”
Goaltender Sean Julien played both games this past weekend, but Doull is no rush to declare a No. 1 netminder between Julien and Matt Normore. “A guy will eventually emerge as a goaltender you have a good feeling about, or maybe they both keep kicking and battling, giving us a chance to win every night.”
Julien is expected to start against Truro.