The Pictou County Weeks Crushers are concentrating on their game as they open their regular season in the Maritime Junior Hockey League.
The Crushers will host the Valley Wildcats on Thursday starting at 7 p.m. at the Pictou County Wellness Centre after completing their four-game pre-season schedule.
Head coach Doug Doull said he was satisfied with the Crushers’ performance last weekend in two games they lost by identical 3-2 margins to the Truro Bearcats.
“We had two hard-fought games,” he said.
He said he’s not sure about the Wildcats’ team this season and wants to make sure his team is ready.
“We don’t know what to expect from the Valley, but we’re making sure we take care of our game,” he said. “We’re getting to know each other, but we know we have some things to work on and that there are no easy games in this league.”
Goals by Jacob Hickey and Cameron Scott early in the second period snapped a goalless game and gave the Crushers a 2-0 lead.
Former Weeks Major Midgets star Carson Lanceleve got the Bearcats on the scoreboard late in the second period, while Cole Julien and Dylan Burton tallied less than two minutes apart mid-way through the third period.
Recorded shots on goal were 50 for the Crushers and 39 for the Bearcats, including a 19-12 edge for the Crushers in the third period.
The Crushers pulled their goaltender with 35 seconds left in the game despite playing one man down due to a late penalty to Evan MacLennan.
The Bearcats needed overtime to defeat the Crushers last Saturday at the Wellness Centre.
Dylan Riley gave the Crushers a 1-0 lead in the first period, while the Bearcats took a 2-1 lead into the third period.
Ryan MacLennan tied the game for the Crushers with less than five minutes remaining in the third period.
Each team took 29 shots.
The Crushers’ next game after hosting the Wildcats will be at home on September 20 against the Amherst Ramblers before they visit the South Shore Lumberjacks on Sept. 21 and the Yarmouth Mariners on September 22.
The Bearcats will visit the Crushers on September 27.
Ryan MacLennan, No. 7, celebrates his tying goal against the Bearcats. (Goodwin photo)