The Pictou County Wear Well Bombers will host the Nova Scotia Major Bantam Hockey League championship tournament this week without momentum going for them.
The Bombers will play two games on Thursday and two games on Friday at the Pictou County Wellness Centre after losing a best-of-three mini-series in straight games to the East Hants Rangers. The Rangers edged the Bombers 5-4 on March 3 in the series opener and posted another 5-4 victory last Saturday in the second game.
The Bombers will open at noon against the Gulls from St. Margaret’s Bay and at 6:30 p.m. against the Pro Life Harbour Storm at on Thursday following the official opening.
The Bombers are scheduled to test ACCEL Physio from Halifax at 2 p.m. and the South Shore Lumberjacks at 8 p.m. on Friday in their next games.
“I’m certainly liking the times of our games,” Bombers head coach Jon Sim said. “Our opponents were known to us but I like the times. The kids can sleep in a bit and be well rested.”
The outcome of those games will determine future weekend games for the Bombers.
Tournament awards will be at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, followed by one semifinal game between the first-place and fourth-place teams at 5 p.m. and the other match between the second-place and third-place teams at 7:30 p.m.
The winners of those two games will contest the championship at 1 p.m. on Sunday, while the losers will be in Sunday’s bronze medal match at 10 a.m.
“There are no surprises about the teams we’re playing,” Sim said. “Everyone knows us and we know them. This is the best time for hockey.”
Lucas Canning scored twice for the Bombers, while Landon Sim and Kiefer Avery got their other goals in their first game against the Rangers.
The Bombers trailed 2-0 on Sunday through one period and tied the game on goals by Canning and Sim in the second period. But the Rangers took a 4-2 lead later in the period and widened their lead with another goal in the third period before the Bombers made it close.
“We worked hard but some bounces didn’t go our way and some calls didn’t go our way,” Jon Sim said. “The playoffs didn’t go well for us, but we have this second opportunity. We’re healthy, we’re excited and we’re ready to go, I hope.”
Bombers players watch as the puck enters the net on a rebound during the second period of their playoff game with the East Hants Rangers. The Rangers won 5-4 to win their best-of-three playoff series in straight games. (Goodwin photo)