It was a precedent-setting night for the Pictou County Scotians.
The Scotians defeated the Liverpool Privateers 8-5 on Friday before a large crowd at the Pictou County Wellness Centre to win their first Nova Scotia Junior Hockey League championship in the 23-year history of the franchise. It is also the first time since the New Glasgow Bombers of 1972-73 that a Pictou County team captured a Junior B league banner.
Riley Cameron scored three goals and Austin Donlevy’s second goal of the night into an empty net led the Scotians’ win and allowed them to take the league championship series in six games.
Ethan Snell, Blair Dewtie and Jared Livingstone got the other goals.
The Scotians took a 2-0 lead on goals by Cameron and Dewtie, but the Privateers tied the game before the first period ended and took a 3-2 lead early in the second period.
Donlevy, Cameron and Snell replied in the second period, which ended in a 5-5 tie.
Livingstone’s goal proved to be the winner, while Cameron padded the lead with a power-play goal and Donlevy’s empty-net goal came with 1:11 remaining.
Cameron’s performance helped him earn the league’s playoff most valuable player award.
Goaltender Brandon MacDonald started all 19 games for the Scotians and compiled a 2.98 goals-against average.
The Scotians opened their quest by eliminating the Antigonish Bulldogs in six games and took seven games to win their Sid Rowe Division series against the Junior Miners from Cape Breton before prevailing in six games against Liverpool.
“We struggled against Antigonish, but we found our legs in the last few games,” Scotians head coach Al Whidden said. “We cleared a big hurdle when we beat The Miners, and we got better every game.”
The Scotians will now prepare for the Johnson Cup Atlantic junior championship being played at the end of the month in Fredericton Junction, N.B.
“We’ll have lots of legs for the tournament,” Whidden said.
The Scotians will meet the Cape Pele Predators on April 26, the Breakers from Southern Shore, N.L. on April 27 and the P.E.I. team that is yet to be determined and the host Fredericton Capitals on April 28.
Whidden said the team will not practise until this weekend due to university exams for some of the team members and to allow the team time to rest and heal from assorted injuries.
Members of the Scotians were joined by coaches and fans after capturing the Nova Scotia Junior Hockey League title on Friday at the Pictou County Wellness Centre. (Goodwin photo)