(Editor's Note: This story originally appeared in the online edition on Nov 19. It has been updated)
The Pictou County Scotians continue to put checks in the win column.
The Nova Scotia Junior Hockey League (NSJHL) club won its fifth game in a row Sunday, a 4-1 final over the Cole Harbour Colts at Trenton rink.
It was also their seventh victory in the past eight games.
“The first five minutes, I thought Cole Harbour was the better team,” said coach Phil Lynds, “until we started getting physical and using our speed.”
Jacob Pentz and Colin Holmes each had a goal and two assists and Ryan MacDonald and Ben Kelly also scored for Pictou County against Cole Harbour. Keith Leadbeater replied for Cole Harbour.
Pentz’s 18 goals leads the team and is third-best in the league.
Matt Murray made 40 saves in the Pictou County net. Murray leads the NSJHL in save percentage (.956) and his 1.55 goals-against-average per game is also a league-best.
“I just take it one shot at a time” says the 20-year-old netminder, who started playing nets in atom and later helped the North Nova Gryphons win a provincial high school championship.
Murray now attends Dalhousie University, where he is studying science, with the intent of someday going into medicine.
It helps him that he can rely on his teammates to do the right thing in helping him keep the net clean.
“It doesn’t matter how you stop the puck, as long as you keep it out of the net,” says Murray. “I’m feeling good this year, I think we have a shot at winning it all.”
Murray, a second-year tender with the Scotians, had to iron out his school schedule in order to make a commitment to the team this season.
“I think a big difference is having Matt back there,” says Lynds. “I don’t think there’s a better goalie in the league. He definitely gives us a chance to win every night.”
An athletic goaltender who battles in his crease, Murray is “very calm back there,” says Lynds.
“He doesn’t panic. He’s not a ‘rah-rah’ guy – he’s very quiet – but he does not like to lose at all.”
The Scotians, with a 10-3 won-loss record on the season, play on Nov. 24 in Liverpool against the Privateers, before returning home the next night for a 6 p.m. game against the Sackville Blazers.