Crushers draw first blood

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Pictou County takes lead over Amherst in MHL division semifinal

NEW GLASGOW – You can’t win a game in the first period, but you can certainly lose it.

Thursday night’s three-goal first period by the Weeks Crushers was too much for the Amherst Ramblers to come back from as Pictou County won 5-2.

Hometown defenceman Daniel MacLeod opened the scoring 6:16 into the game as his shot from the point hit a Ramblers stick and found its way past Richard Tingley to give Pictou County a 1-0 lead.

“The puck just came out to me, so I tried to get it off as quick as I could,” he said. “I was lucky. It hit one of their defenceman’s sticks and went up over the goalies shoulder. It’s always good to get the first one.”

After the game MacLeod said although it’s important to score first it doesn’t mean they’re guaranateed anything as momentum shifts throughout the game.

“Well it’s good to score early, but it doesn’t really matter who scores first because you have to play 60 minutes,” said MacLeod. “It doesn’t really change the outcome of the game. If you take one shift off everything can change.”

Fortunately for the Crushers the momentum stayed in their favour as Amherst got into penalty trouble as Daniel Walsh took two penalties 6:46 into the period, while Evan MacEachern took one to offset part of Walsh’s minors. Nick Parker capitalized for the Crushers on their first power play of the game, tapping the puck past Tingley, giving them a 2-0 lead.

After the second goal Ross Martin and Regan Spears dropped the gloves, with Martin taking an instigator penalty and giving the Crushers another power play.

Evan Carmody scored, helping Pictou County take a 3-0 lead into the second period.

With the ice still wet, former Crusher Bruce Hornbrook beat Brandon Thibeau at the 1:05 mark to cut the lead to two. Just 1:16 later Martin took a penalty that cost the Ramblers again, this time for a hit to the head.

JP Harvey fanned on his shot on the power play, but it went off an Amherst skate past Tingley to give the Crushers a three-goal lead again.

Brock Morrison scored at the 12:46 mark to cut the lead to two again. Late in the second Amherst would get another power play, giving them a chance to narrow the gap as Mitchell Deruelle took a hooking penalty with 2:01 remaining in the period, but the Crushers withstood the pressure and held a 4-2 lead going into the final period.

“I think our PK did a fantastic job all night, just not on that penalty kill there,” he said. “Steve MacInnis probably blocked 20 shots that game. It’s just everyone laying their body on the line and everyone’s buying in. It’s a perfect time of year to do it.”

Jordan McInnis scored the lone goal of the third period, an empty-net goal with nine seconds remaining, as Pictou County went on to open the series with a win.

Thibeau made saves 30 for the win, while Tingley made 35 in the loss.

Game 2 of the Eastlink Division semifinal is Saturday night in Amherst. MacLeod said the win helps them in the series, but not too much momentum carries over as they’re playing in a different rink and it’s a new game.

“It’s game-by-game in the playoffs because anything can happen on any night,” he said. “We know that ‘the jungle’ is always a tough place to play in.”

 

Scoring

Pictou County Weeks Crushers 5

1st Daniel MacLeod from John Mullally 6:16

1st Nick Parker from John Mullally and Mitchell Deruelle 8:00 PP

1st Evan Carmody from Mitchell Deruelle and David Stephens 8:59 PP

2nd JP Harvey from David Stephens and Mitchell Deruelle 3:50 PP

3rd Jordan McInnis from Cole Hutchinson 19:51 EN

 

Amherst Ramblers 2

2nd Bruce Hornbrook from Francis Alaire and Cam MacDonald 1:05

2nd Brock Morrison from Ryan Caswell and Brett Shute 12:46

 

Shots                              

Crushers: 39

Ramblers: 32

 

Power play

Crushers: 3-6

Ramblers: 0-5

 

W: Brandon Thibeau 30 saves

L: Richard Tingley 35 saves

Organizations: Eastlink Division

Geographic location: Pictou County, Amherst

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Recent comments

  • Crushers Fan
    March 14, 2014 - 15:05

    Good game last night boys. If you are not getting punched in the face and no one is touching Thibeau keep your gloves on. Bottomley tries to play the bully game. You guys play your game and keep putting the puck in the net. You are going all the way this year.

  • wingman
    March 14, 2014 - 10:56

    Rambles might and I mean might win one game.

  • Vince Kennie
    March 13, 2014 - 21:59

    Like I stated in an earlier post, Amherst can not win games while they are in the penalty box, they may have had an envious PK during the regular season, however the play offs are a different story.