WESTVILLE ROAD, N.S. – On a night when icy temperatures gripped Pictou County, the Junior A Crushers’ offence was on fire.
Led by two goals each from Dylan Riley and Kevin Mason, the Crushers beat the Truro Bearcats 8-5 on Thursday, lengthening their winning streak to four games and putting more heat on the South Shore Lumberjacks.
Evan MacLennan had a goal and two assists, while getting single markers were Jacob Hickey, Aiden Hickey and Malcolm MacEachern. Malcolm Genge and Barrett Dachyshyn had two helpers each for the Crushers, who play the Lumberjacks at home on Saturday (7 p.m. start).
“Our whole team pitched in, from Normie (goaltender Matt Normore) out,” said Jacob Hickey, who after a slow start to the season has been ripping it up of late; he has goals in five straight games (six in that stretch), and 14 points (7G, 7A) in the past 10, and buried a snap shot from his office – the high slot – 32 seconds I to middle period to put the Crushers up 4-2.
Dylan Burton, Curtis Heffernan, G Blackmore, Kyle Sexton and Gavin Hart had the Truro goals.
The Lumberacks hold the final playoff spot in the MHL’s South Division, and are three points ahead of Pictou County in the standings.
South Shore has four games in hand on Pictou County entering their home game Friday night against the Valley Wildcats.
“It’s definitely our biggest game of the year, against the team that’s right in front of us,” Hickey said of Saturday’s tilt at the Pictou County Wellness Centre.
Coach Doug Doull concurred.
“We have to approach it one game at a time, and not look too far forward, (but) I don’t mind calling it what it is – it’s a big game.”
• Dylan Riley has five goals and six assists in the past five games.
• Malcolm MacEachern scored his first goal of the season.
• The Crushers are 3-2-1 against Truro.
• The Crushers paid tribute to long-time fan Daniel Arsenault, the 18-year-old Trenton resident who died Dec. 7 after battling Muscular Dystrophy. He had been a regular patron for Crushers’ games. Evan MacLennan wore a ‘No. 1-fan jersey’ during warm up, and Daniel’s family was presented with the jersey after the game. The team also put Daniel’s photograph on the program for Thursday’s game, and the Crushers will wear a small decal on their helmets, in salute to Daniel, for the remainder of the season.