Pirates get much-needed win in Elks home game at Inverness
We won’t see another Brookfield home game in Inverness anytime soon.
David Greencorn, of the Strait Pirates, and Richard Nerysoo, of the Brookfield Elks, jostle in front of the net during Saturday's Junior B game in Inverness.
In what was supposed to be a fund-raiser for the Dr. Bernie MacLean Cultural and Recreation Centre on Saturday, barely 300 people came out to the Nova Scotia Junior Hockey League game between the Elks and the Strait Pirates.
It was Brookfield’s home game, and they lost 5-0 to a deeper and hungrier Pirates squad. And to top it all off, the team bus got stuck in a snowstorm in Glenville, and it took six hours for them to get home.
“This was planned since September, and I was very disappointed in the crowd,” said organizer Geraldine MacFarlane, whose son Richard Nerysoo plays defence for Brookfield.
“It would have helped if more from Cheticamp had’ve come, or that the Pirates didn’t play there the night before, but what can you do? I know I will never organize something like that again.”
Despite the disappointment, the game was entertaining for those who did come out, and hometown defenceman Nerysoo played well, especially in the third period to hold the Pirates to just one goal.
The Pirates, coming off four straight losses to the Glace Bay Miners, including Friday’s 4-1 loss in Cheticamp, and on a six-game losing streak, welcomed the two points.
“That was a huge ‘W’ for us,” said Pirates captain Dale MacIntosh. “Those were tough games with Glace Bay, and it’s good to get back on track.”
MacIntosh said the Miners scored three times in less than four minutes in Cheticamp; otherwise the Pirates held their own against the Junior B team with the best record in the province.
Key to Saturday’s win was the involvement of the Pirates’ defence, including a goal and an assist by Matthew Papineau, who also scored the Pirates’ only goal in Cheticamp.
“We’ve always talked about getting our ‘D’ involved on the offence, and it’s been working. And now that we got that win, hopefully things will start falling into place,” he said.
“We have a good team here. We have all the role guys, the guys who work hard every game. It’s our job now to build on what we did here tonight.”
The Pirates played with a lot of energy despite the tough loss in Cheticamp the night before.
Papineau created the first scoring chance when he crashed into the Brookfield goaltender on a push from a defender. Morgan Timmons took advantage of the situation and beat Papineau, or rather Kinnon MacMillan, top shelf.
Steven Campbell finished off a play with Colby MacEachern and Marc Bourgeois to make it 2-0 after one.
Newcomer Ryan Langille, of Sackville and a former centre with the Bay Ducks, made his presence known on the third goal, backing up Papineau as the defenceman scored at 6:41 of the second for a Pirates’ 3-0 lead.
Michael Scarth made it 4-0 after 40 minutes on a great effort to split Brookfield’s defence on a drive to the net.
And Brennan Delaney capped off a big shift with Kenzie Dowie and Bryson Landry to score the only goal of the third period.
Marcus Otmar was the winner in goal, making 37 saves for the shutout, his second of the season.
The Pirates had 43 shots on MacMillan.
There are just eight games left in the Pirates’ regular season, and the team will play four of them in eight days, beginning this Friday when they host the Antigonish Bulldogs at 7:30 p.m. at the Port Hawkesbury Civic Centre.
On Sunday the Pirates travel to Pictou and then play Antigonish on Wednesday before returning home to host East Hants that Friday.
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