WESTVILLE ROAD, N.S. – The Pictou County Peewee AAA Crushers saw their bronze medal hopes slipping away against the King’s County Kings on April 7.
So, they did something about.
Down 5-3 in the third period, the Crushers scored three straight goals to beat the Kings 6-5.
“The goals were going in for us, while (in previous games), it didn’t matter what we did – we just couldn’t score,” said coach Jeff Green.
Keagan Dalton, Wyatt Spence, Cade Moser, Kaden Smith, Amias Crossman and Dominic MacKenzie had the goals for Pictou County.
“We wanted to be competitive, wanted to prove we belonged, and I don’t think anybody would doubt that we deserved to be there. Our kids were pretty excited to win that game, coming from behind.”
Crushers captain Cade Moser said the mindset going into the bronze medal game was to keep playing hard.
“It’s still a medal game, it’s still an Atlantic championship, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” said Moser.
“It was really big, for sure. I hate using this word, but we came in as the underdogs because we lost all four games at provincials in late March).”
The Bedford Blues went unbeaten to claim the Atlantic title, defeating the St. John’s Hitmen 4-1 in the championship game.
Green said organizers received a letter from one of the parents whose son plays on the Fredericton Canadiens.
“She said it was the best tournament she’d ever seen, and named some of the different components, whether it be the banquet, or the hospitality room, all the little details.”
All teams had their own dressing rooms, allowing them to keep their equipment on site, and each player received a free tournament hoodie and a swag bag, and admission for all games was free.
He credited the tournament committee, parents, sponsors and the community in general for helping to make the tournament a success. “Pictou County has always been like that,” Green said. “It doesn’t matter what it is, they’re just so supportive of what you do.”
• On April 6, in a meaningless contest (the medal-round matchups had already been determined), Alex Palmer made 15 saves in the Pictou County net as the Crushers blanked the Canadiens 4-0.
Kaden Smith had a goal and an assist, while Dominic MacKenzie, Kingsley Austin and Ben Marchand also tallied for the Crushers.
• Pictou County lost twice on April 5 to drop to 1-2. The Crushers had a definite edge in territorial play in first game against the Hitmen, but couldn’t buy a goal and fell behind 3-0, until Lane Sim one-timed a pass from Cade Mosher to get Pictou County closer. The Hitmen finished with an empty-netter.
Needing a win to keep goal medal hopes alive on Friday night, the Crushers were beaten by Bedford 6-1, with Landon Steele getting the only Pictou County goal.
• On April 4, Keagan Dalton scored the winner for Pictou County with 1:03 left in the game, snapping a 1-1 tie and sending the locals to a 2-1 win over King’s County.
Clint MacLaughlin scored a power play goal midway through the first period, with assists from Owen Conrad and Kaden Smith. Jorja Burrows made 25 saves in the Crushers’ net.