Still work to be done for Crushers

Kevin
Kevin Adshade
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The mood was a happy one among the players after the Pictou County Weeks Crushers buried some playoff demons by ousting the Truro Bearcats on Tuesday night, but you got the sense they weren't overjoyed.
That's a good thing - it means they know there's more business to attend to, and that their win over Truro is just the first step on what they hope will be an extended journey into the spring.
They ran the table after a 2-0 series deficit against the Bearcats - and didn't it begin to feel like destiny after Jason Rinzler scored in overtime in Game 4 to even the series?
Rinzler was tremendous against Truro, scoring seven goals - several of them big ones. And what an acquisition he has been since arriving here last December, as the soft-spoken Rinzler has bellied up to the bar in the post-season, and played a monumental role for Pictou County against Truro.
The Crushers' best players were at their best, but if ever there was a team effort, it was in their six game-effort.
Excepting their 9-8 win in Game 4, the Crushers' much-maligned defence stood tall, giving up 20 goals in the six games: Scott Lavigne was his usual self, but LeBlanc, MacLellan, MacInnis stepped it up - they weren't perfect, but played with a lot of guts.
Asked to name one player who surprised him in the past week, coach Troy Ryan didn't hesitate at all.
"Geoff MacNaughton. He kept things simple, didn't panic. The whole 'D' raised their game - they just did the job."
The Crushers' players, coaching staff, dedicated volunteers and their fans deserved something good to happen in this playoff year. They got it.
Losing to Truro would not have been a shock, but in a Fred Page Cup year, the organization desperately wanted a good show in the playoffs.
Truro coach Shawn Evans said after Game 6, the Crushers "have a veteran team and the difference in their play in the regular season and in the playoffs was they played more as a team."
Beating Truro, who had treated the Crushers like a red-headed stepchild in recent years, "was a huge monkey off our backs," said team president Wade Taylor.
The Fred Page will be a highlight for the Crushers and local hockey fans late next month, but this team wants an MJAHL championship and now, the Yarmouth Mariners stand in their way. While there's a lot of work to be done, they just cleared a major hurdle by dusting off Truro.
As for fearless forecasting and other guesswork about the upcoming series, one school of thought says don't go to the well too often, but another says in for a penny, in for a pound.
Crushers in six.

Kevin Adshade is sports editor with The News

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