What the hockey gods take, sometimes they also give back.
Three nights after letting the Miramichi Timberwolves pour in three shorthanded goals in a rather distasteful 5-4 Crushers’ loss, Pictou County turned the table on Dec. 2, scoring two shorthanded efforts – on the same Amherst Ramblers power play – to seize control and go on to win a 6-3 final.
With the teams tied 2-2 in the second period at the Pictou County Wellness Centre (PCWC), Amherst had a prime opportunity to pull ahead when Crushers defenceman Max Grandmaison took a double-minor for slew-footing. But Andrew Burden and Jake Martin scored shorthanded efforts a mere two minutes apart, as the Ramblers laid out the welcome mat for the Crushers in front of netminder Tyler Casely.
Craig Ryan and Sullivan Sparkes had third-period goals to give Pictou County a cushion, and although Amherst had inched closer with a goal late in the middle period, netminder Andrew MacLeod, looking quick and confident in the Crushers’ net, shut the door the rest of the way.
Cal MacPherson and Jaden Mason also had scored for the Crushers. Cole Waugh had a pair for Amherst and Jason Gallant also found the back of the net.
• 19-year-old winger Andrew Burden has been scorching the offensive zone, with seven goals and four assists in his past eight games.
• Throwing his weight around with his usual gusto, hard-nosed forward Craig Ryan scored for the second time in three games.
• Although Sullivan Sparkes still leads the team in scoring (4G, 20A), he had gone 10 games without a goal until the win over Amherst. Dallas Farrell is second on the team with 21 points in just 14 games since joining the Crushers (10G, 11A).
• Pictou County won’t have its usual Thursday home game this week. The Crushers are in Truro on Dec. 7 for a game against the Bearcats, and the next day make the trip to Yarmouth to play the South Division-leading Mariners in a 5 p.m. contest. They play at the PCWC on Dec. 12 against the Summerside Western Capitals.
• The Crushers are tied with Amherst for third place in the South Division with 27 points (13-8-1), five back of the South Shore Lumberjacks and six behind Yarmouth. Pictou County has multiple games in hand on all South Division teams.
MIRAMICHI TIMBERWOLVES 5, PICTOU COUNTY CRUSHERS 4
At the PCWC, the T-Wolves scored three shorthanded goals in beating the Crushers. Eric Pelletier scored with less than two minutes to go for Miramichi to break a 4-4 deadlock. Andrew Burden had two goals and an assist, and Dallas Farrell and Aiden Hickey also scored. Hickey and Max Grandmaison each set up a pair of tallies.