SPRINGHILL – The perfect postseason continues for the Cumberland County Blues.
Cumberland held off a late charge from the Strait Pirates for a 4-3 win last night at Richard Calder Arena to sweep their best-of-seven Nova Scotia Junior Hockey League Sid Rowe Division championship series.
The Blues are 8-0 in this year’s playoffs, having dispatched the Pictou County Scotians in the division semifinals.
“I’m very surprised at that,” Blues head coach Dave Hyatt said. “But the guys have showed up prepared to play every night and we’ve found ways to win, which is what you need at this time of year.”
Goaltender Andrew Court has been a big reason for that. The 20-year-old Campbellton, N.B., native has played every minute of every game this postseason, recording a 2.50 goals-against average and .900 save percentage.
Court had his busiest game of the playoffs yet, as Strait almost overcame a 4-1 third-period deficit and outshot Cumberland 36-23 last night.
The motivation of winning the franchise’s first NSJHL title a year ago but not reaching the title game at the Don Johnson Cup Atlantic junior B championship is readily apparent.
“That feeling of losing is not fun, especially when you get that close,” Court said. “But we’ve got a chance to get back there with this group.
“Everyone is playing their role and we’ve really come together as a team.”
Cody Roach had a goal and an assist for the Blues. Ryan Smith, Matt Noiles and Jordie Shaw also scored, and Jared Wilson picked up a pair of assists.
On Friday, the Blues skated away with a 3-2 decision in Port Hawkesbury in Game 3. Zach Carson had a pair of goals and Smith a single. Court made 11 saves for the victory.
Cumberland awaits the winner of the Fred Fox Division championship between the St. Margarets Bay Ducks and Brookfield Elks.
The Ducks took a 2-1 series lead with a 6-1 triumph on home ice Saturday.
Should the Ducks win that series, the Blues receive an automatic berth in the Don Johnson Cup, which St. Margarets Bay will host April 20-25.