Blues return home for pair of games

Dave Mathieson
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SPRINGHILL - Cumberland County Blues fans will get two large helpings of Nova Scotia Junior Hockey League action this weekend after being deprived of their favourite team since Jan. 15.
"We haven't played in town for a while because of the weather and the scheduling, so it will be a good weekend for the fans, that's for sure," Blues general manager Ron Reynolds said.
Tonight, the Blues face off against the Brookfield Elks for only the second time this season. The last time they met was Oct. 27 and the Blues won 6-5 in a shootout.
The Elks are in second place in their division with 34 points.
"They have a nice hockey team," Reynolds said. "They always play aggressive so it won't be easy if we don't bring our A game, and we haven't played in a couple of weeks so that makes it even tougher for us."
The Blues could be shooting pucks at former teammate Landon Crowe, a Springhill native now suiting up for the Elks.
"He's fit in nicely and he's playing really well down there," Reynolds said.
On Saturday the Blues host the Pictou County Scotians who, with 32 points, are in second place in the Sid Rowe Division, 18 points behind the Blues.
"They'll be fresh and we'll be playing two games back to back, so that game will be a big test for us," Reynolds said.
Returning from injuries this weekend will be Justin Landry and Murray Bavis but Brendon Grimes, Jordie Shaw, Dave Burke and Cole Wood aren't expected back in the lineup until next week.
"We'll be using some (affiliated players) because we don't want to rush any of our injured players back," Reynolds said.
The Blues lost Wood to a concussion when he was elbowed by Mike MacGillivary in the first period in the Blues' 10-0 win over the Antigonish Bulldogs on Jan. 24.
The Blues are in a tight race for first overall in the league with the St. Margarets Bay Ducks who have 47 points to the Blues' 50.
How important is it for the Blues to finish ahead of the Bay Ducks?
"We want to say we were first overall but it's not the end of the world if we're not," Reynolds said. "We've clinched first in our division and that was important, and now with the injuries there's no need to rush anybody back.
"But we definitely want to win both games this weekend. We know the games will be tough but we have depth on our team so hopefully that will carry us through."
Both games begin at 7:30 p.m., at Richard Calder Arena.

Organizations: Nova Scotia Junior Hockey League, Pictou County Scotians, Sid Rowe Division

Geographic location: SPRINGHILL

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