East Hants not taking anything for granted

Darrell
Darrell Cole
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Open tonight against host Blues

LANTZ The East Hants Penguins like being the favourites, but its not something they are taking for granted as they enter the Don Johnson Cup.

Despite romping to the Nova Scotia Junior Hockey League championship without losing a single playoff game, the Penguins are not over confident.

We have to keep the ball rolling. We had a good playoff and if we stay away from injuries to our key guys I think well be successful, coach Laurie Barron said. All the teams are tough, but I think were as tough as any.

The Pengins open tonight against the host Cool Blues before playing Newfoundland on Wednesday, New Brunswick on Thursday and P.E.I. on Friday.

Led by former OHL product Patrick Sweeney and Trevor MacKenzie, the Penguins were an offensive powerhouse this season.

The addition of Ryan Penney from Yarmouth midway through the season only made the club stronger, but its the defensive side of the game that Barron feels has propelled the team to the success it has enjoyed.

From Christmas on our defence and goaltending have really come on. Were strong in nets and our D with Kyle Ross, Jamie Klie and Alex Burton has been key to our success, Barron said. We scored a lot of goals but we have really looked after our own end.

Goaltending has also been one of the main reasons for the clubs success led by former Junior A standout Matthew Bracegirdle.

The Penguins will also be looking for a measure of revenge against the P.E.I. champion Kensington Vipers, who defeated the Penguins 5-2 in an exhibition tilt earlier this season.

Thats a pretty good measuring stick. Were not going in over confident because Kensington already beat us and Cumberland has a tough team as well, Barron said.

Tournaments are way different than a four out of seven. You have to be good every day.

dcole@amherstdaily.com

Organizations: Penguins, Nova Scotia Junior Hockey League, Junior A

Geographic location: P.E.I., Newfoundland, New Brunswick Yarmouth Kensington

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