TRENTON – The Pictou County Scotians are operating under new leadership and a new head coach.
Greg Burrows, who owns Subway restaurants in Pictou County, expressed a desire to take over the Nova Scotia Junior Hockey League team’s operations and named Mike Stewart the Scotians’ head coach.
Burrows was not immediately available for comment but team governor Walter Smith said Burrows approached the Scotians’ board regarding the changes.
Smith said the future of the Scotians’ current coaching staff was unclear. He expressed the hope that some or all the current staff would remain with the team this season.
That did not happen on Thursday as Stewart directed a team practice alongside Darren Thompson and Nathaniel Legere in preparation for this weekend’s games.
“It’s nice to get on the ice with the kids,”Stewart said. “It’s about getting dedication an effort.”
Smith referred to the dedication board members have had for the team over its 24 years in the league. He said board members had mixed emotions about the changes but felt Burrows’ increased role and his interest in the team meant the changes were the best course of action to ensure the team’s long-term future.
The Scotians are scheduled to open their February schedule when they host Eskasoni Eagles on Saturday at 7:45 p.m. on Saturday at the Trenton Arena in their next Nova Scotia Junior Hockey League game.
The game was re-scheduled from January 20.
The Scotians will once again forgo their usual Sunday home ice date in lieu of the Super Bowl but are scheduled to play in Antigonish on Sunday against the Bulldogs.
After a solid start to the season, the Scotians have just two wins over the Cumberland County Blues to their credit and have lost their other seven games to fall from second to fourth place in the Sid Rowe Division standings.
The Scotians lost two games last week by scores of 8-4 on Friday to the host Valley Maple Leafs in Windsor and 5-3 at home on Sunday against the Membertou Junior Miners.
Jeremy McFarlane scored twice and Ian Keating once for the Scotians against the Miners.
Jacob Pentz’s first of two goals gave the Scotians a 1-0 lead after one period in Windsor.
The Maple Leafs took a 5-4 lead into the third period and added three more goals to ice the win.
Logan Vandermeerakker and William Kelly got the Scotians’ other goals.
William Kelly centres the puck for a Scotians goal in Nova Scotia Junior Hockey League action. (File photo)