The Pictou County Scotians are prepping for a pair of games this coming weekend.
After playing Oct. 4 in Antigonish against the Bulldogs, the Scotians will hold their Nova Scotia Junior Hockey League home-opener on Oct. 6 at Trenton rink, starting at 6 p.m., whent the Cole Harbour Colts pay a visit to Pictou County.
After local businessman Greg Burrows assumed ownership of the Scotians in the middle of last season, Burrows said he wanted to give local players more of an opportunity to play junior hockey, something which head coach Mike Stewart was in agreement with.
In an interview, Stewart said there could be as many as 14 Pictou County-born players on the roster.
“We’re not sacrificing talent to take local kids,” he said.
“We’re just taking talented local kids.”
Burrows said that focus has not changed.
“Our first goal is local first,” he said this week. “We want local guys, we know they will fight harder come playoffs.”
He also stated that a 6 p.m. start time for Scotians home games will be the norm, allowing both fans and players to get home earlier following the games.
The club was to hold its first practice on Thursday at Trenton rink. Previously, they’d held practices and training camp sessions at the Pictou County Wellness Centre, or in Antigonish.
“We’re excited to be back to our home rink,” Stewart said.
“The boys get to move into their dressing room, pick their stalls. Actually, I’m excited about the first home game, but I can’t wait until we play Antigonish Friday night in their rink.”
Pictou County collected three of a possible four points in two recent games, both of them on the road.
In a Sept. 29 game at Eskasoni, Tyler Long poured in three goals and had an assist to help lead the Scotians to a 9-6 victory over the Eskasoni Junior Eagles. Parker Stewart, Hayden Burgess, Ryan MacLennan, Connor Aucoin, Wayne Denny, and Cayden MacLaren also provided goals, while Matt Chediac had three assists and Campbell Burrows helped set up two goals. Nicholas Laffin got the win in goal for Pictou County.
Pictou County (1-0-1) started the regular season with a 5-4 shootout loss to Cole Harbour on Sept. 20.
MacLennan, Cory McCrudden, Robert Burrows and Stewart scored goals for the Scotians, who had led 4-2 in the third period before the Colts scored twice in the final five minutes of the game.