The MHL playoffs have eluded the Pictou County Weeks Crushers.
The South Mustangs defeated the Crushers 7-4 before nearly 1,200 fans at the Pictou County Wellness Centre to clinch third place in the league’s South Division.
The results meant the idle Truro Bearcats can claim the fourth and final playoff berth, regardless of the outcome of the Crushers’ and Lumberjacks last regular-season game today.
Evan Gallant tied the game at 1-1 in the first period for the Crushers, but the game turned on three straight goals within two minutes late in the period that gave the Mustangs the lead they never relinquished.
Sam Meisenheimer scored his first of two goals in the game early in the second period, but the Lumberjacks took a 6-2 lead into the third period.
The Crushers outshot the Lumberjacks 18-4 in the final frame but could only muster goals from Meisenheimer and Kevin Mason that drew them within two goals of the lead.
South Shore’s seventh goal was into an empty net.
The announced paid attendance of 1,169 was among the rare times the Crushers have drawn more than 1,000 fans as the partisan crowd hoped the Crushers could prolong their season.
The Crushers followed a strong surge starting in mid-season by going 5-5 in their last 10 games and losing their last three games.
Darren Dachyshyn deflects a point shot in front of the Lumberjacks’ goal on Thursday during the third period of their MHL game. The Lumberjacks won 7-4 to clinch third place in the league’s South Division and eliminate the Crushers from the playoffs. (Goodwin photo)