With a win over the Pictou County Scotians last Friday night, the Cumberland County Cool Blues finished the regular season in a position other teams can now only dream about.
SPRINGHILL: With a win over the Pictou County Scotians last Friday night, the Cumberland County Cool Blues finished the regular season in a position other teams can now only dream about.
"First place in our division and first place overall," Coach Ron Reynolds said. "That gives us home ice advantage throughout the playoffs for as far as we go. Playing in front of our home crowd is a huge advantage for our team."
Though the schedule had not been written as of press time, playoff action will begin next week and Reynolds said there's a good chance they'll play Pictou in the first round.
"I like playing Pictou because you always know they're going to come out and give 100 per cent effort," Reynolds said. "That's what you need sometimes to get your players going."
The Blues played Pictou County over the weekend, splitting the home and home stand at one game apiece.
In a 6-3 loss in Pictou on Sunday it was David Burke, Justin Cortes and Seth Crowe who scored for the Blues with assists coming from Cortes, Murray Bavis, Mark Rozak, Matt Carroll and Cody Firth.
"We rested a few players on Sunday," Reynolds said. "Plus it can be hard getting the players motivated after you clinch first place."
In Friday night action the Blues found themselves trailing 2-0 going into the third but clinched first place in the league with a 3-2 overtime win after Cody Roach scored just 35 seconds into the extra frame.
The goal came off a major misplay by Pictou.
Their goaltender came out of his crease to play the puck while the Blues Hughie McCuish was muscled into the goaltender by another Pictou player, knocking all three of them out of the play.
Roach took advantage of the situation.
"When the whistle blew I thought maybe I got a penalty," McCuish said. "But it was a goal."
Andrew Brennan and Nathan Lavigne scored the other Blues goals.
When asked how far his team will go in the playoffs McCuish said, "We have a championship caliber team but we'll just take it one game at a time. We don't want to get too far ahead of ourselves, that can come back and bite you in the ass."
"The boys have huge potential. We could do some real damage in the playoffs but if they don't come prepared to play it could be an early exit."
"They have to be prepared to battle and pay the price from here on out," Reynolds added. "In the playoffs you have to win close games and you have to battle back. We have everything in place; we just have to bring our game to the next level."
The Blues have two more regular season games both of which will be played at home.
Friday night they host the Antigonish Bulldogs, and then Sunday they finish the regular season by hosting the Cape Breton Canadians.