Blues two wins away from NSJHL title

Jody Jewers
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AMHERST – Make it a perfect 10 for the Cumberland County Blues.

Cumberland remains undefeated in the Nova Scotia Junior Hockey League playoffs after a 4-1 decision over the St. Margarets Bay Ducks last night in Upper Tantallon.

The Blues, who won the series opener 6-4 on Friday at Richard Calder Arena in Springhill, take a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven final into Game 3 tomorrow night in Springhill at 7:30 p.m.

Cumberland, assured of a berth in the Don Johnson Cup Atlantic junior B championship April 20-25 since the Ducks are hosting, is two wins away from repeating as NSJHL champs. The Blues swept best-of-sevens from the Pictou County Scotians and Strait Pirates en route to the Sid Rowe Division title.

“We’re just taking it game by game,” said forward Ryan Smith, a 21-year-old Mount Pearl, N.L., native who scored twice last night. “We know we’re going to the Don Johnson, but a good series against these guys might get in their heads a bit, and should be to our advantage at Atlantics.”

The Blues spotted the hosts a 1-0 lead, but pulled away with three third-period goals, outshooting the hosts 20-6 in the frame and 38-32 for the night.

“We really took over the game in the third,” Blues coach Dave Hyatt said. “But full credit to (goalie) Andrew (Court) for keeping us in it until then. It could’ve easily been 3-1 or 4-1 for them going into the third if not for him.”

Murray Bavis and Cody Roach also scored, and Zach Carson picked up three assists. All but Smith’s second goal came on the power play.

On Friday in Springhill, Roach had a goal and two assists for the victors. Ryan Oakley, Zach Carson, Dave Burke, Jordie Shaw and Jared Wilson also scored for Cumberland, and Court stopped 28 shots.

NOTES: Game 4 is scheduled for Thursday in Upper Tantallon at 7 p.m. ... Shaw, who didn’t play last night, could miss the rest of the series with an arm injury suffered in Game 1. He finished that game, but couldn’t move his arm the next morning, according to Hyatt. Shaw is not expected to dress for Games 3 and 4. He has five goals and three assists in nine postseason games ... Carson leads the team in playoff scoring with nine goals and 20 points. Roach is next with seven goals and 19 points ... Court, who has played every minute of every game for the Blues in the postseason, lowered his goals-against average to 2.50.

Organizations: Nova Scotia Junior Hockey League, Cumberland, Don Johnson Pictou County Scotians Sid Rowe Division

Geographic location: Springhill, Upper Tantallon, Mount Pearl

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