TRENTON – The Pictou County Scotians have trained their sights on the Nova Scotia Junior Hockey League playoffs.
Head coach Mike Stewart said the Scotians have moved past trying to climb the standings in the Sid Rowe Division as it became more likely they would finish in fourth place.
The Scotians split their games last weekend, defeating the Cumberland Blues 7-4 last Friday in Springhill and losing 6-4 at home against the Eskasoni Eagles. They will visit the Eagles next Sunday and complete their scheduled by hosting the Antigonish Bulldogs in a makeup game on Mondaystarting at 7:30 p.m. in Trenton.
Jacob Pentz scored twice ad Ian Keating, Jeremy McFarlane, Caelan Blaikie, David Culberson and William Kelly added one goal each for the Scotians against the Blues.
Chad Tucker scored one goal and assisted on the other three by Logan Vandemeerakker’s three goals against the Eagles.
Stewart said he likes what he’s seen from the Scotians lately. They split their two games the previous weekend against the Junior Miners, losing in Membertou before winning 8-1 in Trenton.
“The boys are buying into the system, especially special teams,” he said. “They’re doing things with a purpose and they’re all doing it. We’re treating every game like it’s a playoff game. That’s how we approached it with the Miners. We’ll win the games we can after that and see where we land.”
Stewart said he has not felt the need to get used to the players and what they can offer the team to help it achieve success in the playoffs, especially with a complete, health lineup.
“I was comfortable with them from the first practice,” he said. “Everyone should be back for the playoffs. That’s how we’re looking at it.”
Scotians head coach Mike Stewart, right, directs their hockey practice. (Goodwin photo)