Blues, Scotians meet tonight in first-round playoff preview

Dave Mathieson
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SPRINGHILL - Hockey fans hoping to get a preview of the first round of the Nova Scotia Junior Hockey League playoffs will be given the opportunity tonight when the Cumberland County Blues face off against the Pictou County Scotians at Richard Calder Arena.
"We're looking at it as a game to set the tone for the playoffs, so it's more important than your average regular-season game at this point of the year," Blues coach Dave Hyatt said.
"We don't have anything to play for standings-wise, but when it's an opponent you're going to meet in the first round, you definitely want to go in on the right foot."
After a 19-game win streak, the Blues have won three of their last six, with one of those losses coming in a shootout last Sunday at home against the Strait Pirates.
Tonight, the Blues will have a full roster for the first time in a while and Hyatt hopes having all his players dressed will help his team get back on the winning track.
"Everybody is excited that we're healthy because it gives us a chance to put together some line combinations that we're going to run with in the playoffs," Hyatt said. "We haven't been able to do that for a while. We've kind of been mixing and matching lines for the last month with all the injuries we've had, but we're starting to get healthy at the right time."
Players returning from injury tonight are Dave Burke and Cole Wood.
The NSJHL playoff schedule has yet to be finalized.
"When it comes to the beginning of the playoffs, we have to wait until we find out when we're having our make-up game with Antigonish," Hyatt said.
"I know Antigonish is having a hard time securing ice so we'll wait and see, but hopefully we'll know more by the beginning of the week.
"We're practicing both Saturday and Sunday to get everybody tuned up for the playoffs and ready to go."
Andrew Court is expected to get the start in goal.
The puck drops at 7:30 p.m.

Organizations: Nova Scotia Junior Hockey League, Cumberland County Blues, Pictou County Scotians

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