Game time 7:30 p.m. at Richard Calder Arena
© Dave Mathieson - Cumberland News Now
The Blues are back at the Richard Calder Arena tonight at 7:30 p.m.
SPRINGHILL – It has been a long first half for the Cumberland County Blues.
But, with the team prepared to wrap up its pre-Christmas schedule tonight in Springhill against the Brookfield Elks, coach Grove Sutton is looking with optimism toward the second half of the season.
“We’re a much better hockey club than our record shows. We manage to hang around in games for two periods, but then we just hit a wall and run out of gas,” Sutton said. “It would be nice to get a win on our own ice Friday and then take a little break and get ready to begin the drive for a playoff spot after Christmas.”
Game time at the Richard Calder Arena is 7:30 p.m.
The Blues have only played Brookfield once this year, a 4-3 win at the Don Henderson Memorial Complex in October.
The Blues, who sit in last place in the Sid Rowe Division and the overall league standings, will be missing several players tonight, while it will also have at least one call up from the Amherst Junior C Colts.
At 2-19-1, the Blues sit five points behind the fourth-place Antigonish Bulldogs.
Tonight’s game will be one of the last against teams in the Fred Fox Division with most of the games after Christmas being against divisional opponents the Blues are trying to catch up to including Antigonish and the Pictou County Scotians, who now have breathing room in third place after picking up goalie Spencer Scott from the Elks.
Sutton said he hopes the club can pick up a few more defencemen in January. He said he has a couple of defenceman that are logging a lot of icetime and fatigue is resulting in mistakes late in games.
“Our top two lines can play with anyone in this league. I don’t want to point a finger at anyone because the boys we have are working so hard, but we’re weak on the back end. It’s not a case of our defenceman not being any good because they are. The problem we have is that we have a few guys that are logging a lot of icetime and they simply run out of gas in the third period,” Sutton said. “If we could pick up one or two quality defencemen it would really cut down on our goals against and we will start winning some hockey games.”
Sutton said both he and general manager Terry ‘Mouser’ McManaman are looking for ways to improve the hockey club and he hopes to be in a position to announce some new acquisitions early in January.
The Blues resume their schedule on Jan. 5 in Antigonish. The first home game after the break is on Jan. 10 against the Pictou County Scotians.