Play back-to-back games at home Friday, Saturday
© Dave Mathieson - Cumberland News Now
Blues player, Dmitrii Anikin, carries the puck into the offensive zone with Zach Black trailing close behind. The Blues take on the Cape Breton Miners Friday and Saturday in Springhill.
SPRINGHILL – The Cumberland County Blues are on roll, winning their last five games.
“We’ve been fortunate the last couple of games in that we’ve been able to battle back from behind and win hockey games,” said Grove Sutton, Blues head coach. “But this team we’re playing this weekend is really good. They’ve had first place all year long and haven’t had much adversity to face.”
The Blues host the Cape Miners twice this weekend. Their first game is tonight at 7:30 p.m., and then Saturday at 2 p.m.
The Blues currently have 15 points to the Miners 43 points.
“They’re a very skilled hockey team and if we don’t come out ready to play right at the drop of the puck and pay close attention to detail we might not get the results we’re looking for,” said Sutton. “They’re the type of team that, if you make a mistake, the puck’s going to be in the back of your net.”
The last time the Blues played the Miners was Nov. 23 in Glace Bay. The Blues pushed the Miners into overtime but ended up losing 6-5.
“That was during our losing streak,” said Sutton. “We hope we can go out there and get these guys to take notice because, hopefully, when all is said and done, we’ll be playing these guys in the playoffs.”
The Blues are in a heated battle with the Antigonish Bulldogs for the final playoff position in the Sid Rowe Division.
The Blues beat the Bulldogs twice last weekend but the Bulldogs beat the Pictou County Scotians Tuesday night in Antigonish, giving them a three-point cushion over the Blues.
“Like I told the boys in the dressing room, if we thought Antigonish wasn’t going to win any more games for the rest of the year we were sadly mistaken,” said Sutton.
Sutton says his team is playing with more confidence and doing the little things that make the difference between winning and losing.
“There’s a line there between taking risks and playing it safe, and it seems to me they know when to make those risk plays and they know when to make the safe play,” said Sutton.
He also likes their work ethic.
“The effort’s there but, like I said to the boys in the dressing room the other day, it’s not a time for satisfaction, nor can we rest on our laurels, because we still have a hill to climb,” said Sutton. “So we just got to keep our nose to the grindstone and pay attention to detail when we’re out there.”
Blues defenseman Gil Murdock is suspended for tonight’s game but will return to the lineup on Saturday. He got penalized during the third period of Sunday’s game against the Bulldogs.
“I’ve never heard of this penalty before but the referee called it for five minutes for interference and kicked him out of the game, which carried an automatic game suspension, which I never heard of before.”
Sutton is looking forward to playing in front of their home crowd for two games.
“It’s always nice to have two games back-to-back at home,” he said. “Hopefully we can keep this thing going and keep the push going.
“We know if the kids come out and play the way they’ve been playing that we can compete with any team in this league.