Club sits atop division with perfect record
Blues host Pirates tonight
SPRINGHILL - It's only early but the Cumberland County Cool Blues are in uncharted waters - they're undefeated and sitting solidly in first place.
The Blues will attempt to run that string to three consecutive wins and solidify their hold on top spot in the division tonight when they host the Strait Pirates at the Richard Calder Arena in Springhill. Game time is 7:30 p.m. in a game that will feature the return of Shawn McManaman, who is playing for the Pirates while attending St. Francis Xavier University.
"It's going to be a good game. It's going to take a 60-minute effort and we're going to have to be sound defensively," coach Ron Reynolds said.
The Blues will be without goalie Matt Kimber and defenceman Nathan Lavigne, who are both serving suspensions from the season-opener in East Hants, but defenceman Matt Noiles is expected to return to the lineup.
Cumberland opened the season last week with a convincing 9-0 win over the Penguins in Lantz before nipping the Windsor Royals in their home-opener last Friday. They dropped an 8-4 decision Sunday to the Kensington Vipers in an exhibition tilt.
"The guys are ready to get at it and they know the Strait is going to be a challenge for them," Reynolds said. "We want to continue this pace. Never in our franchise history have we been in first place."
Different from last year, when the Blues lost their first five out of the gate, Reynolds said his club is mentally tougher and can win those one-goal hockey games - something that was their achilles heal last season and the year before.
On top of this, he said, the club has one of the deepest lineups it has ever had. Still, that doesn't mean they'll be taking the Pirates easy.