League News


Jr. Miners-Strait Pirates Playoff Preview

The 2023-24 Nova Scotia Junior Hockey League Playoffs will get underway involving eight teams this weekend.  The two Fred Fox Divisional Best-of-Seven Semi-Final Series will be between the Capstone Colts and Sackville Blazers and the South Shore Lumberjacks and East Hants Penguins.  In the Sid Rowe Division, the defending Atlantic Champions, Antigonish Jr.Bulldogs will face-off against the Pictou County Scotians while the Membertou Jr. Miners will square off against the Port Hawkesbury Strait Pirates.  This is the first of what will hopefully be four series previews depending on the availability of Coaching Staffs heading into action Friday and Saturday evenings.  This afternoon we start with the Membertou-Port Hawkesbury Series.

Membertou won the season series 3-1-0 while the Strait Pirates went 1-2-1 in their four games with the Jr. Miners.  Membertou outscored the Strait 22-15.  Membertou won one game in overtime 6-5 while the Strait took another 5-1.  The Jr. Miners prevailed 9-2 and 6-3 in the other two games.  The Jr. Miners got off to a slow start at 3-7-0 and concluded the season at 4-3-0 in their final 7 games but in between went 14-0-1.  Jr. Miners Head Coach Ryan Boutilier was asked about this and he said, “we were required to make some changes early in the season after losing nine games by a single goal in 22-23, knew we needed to add some additional firepower while still running with our core group.”  As for the end of the season, he said "that could be attributed to resting some key players at critical times.”
The Jr. Miners scored 112 goals in 32 games meaning an average of 3.5 goals a game.  Boutilier said, “He is not concerned that one player in Landon Clarke did almost 1/5 of the teams scoring with 19 goals.”  He said, “he has every confidence in Nathaniel Fuller, Jarrett Hicks and Sonny Kabatay plus others who can and will put the puck in the net.”  Goaltending wise, he said, “there was no hesitation in saying Lucas Fraser will be between the pipes for Game 1 but Darian MacInnis will see action as well and noted there is a lot of respect built up between the two net minders and said they were very credible playoff goalies.”
As for the Strait Pirates,  Boutilier is certainly not taking anything for granted, saying, “they are very well coached and he expects their special teams will have to be closely monitored as they can hurt you at any given time, adding they have quality hockey club and work hard.”
The following are the scheduled dates for the Jr. Miners-Strait Pirates opening round:
Sat Mar 2 — at Membertou — 7:30 p.m
Tues Mar 5 — at Port Hawkesbury — 7:30 p.m.
Wed Mar 6 — at Membertou — 7:30 p.m.
Fri Mar 8 —     at Port Hawkesbury - 7:30 p.m.
If Necessary:
#  Saturday Mar 9 — at Membertou — 7:30 p.m.
#  Tuesday  Mar 12 — at Port Hawkesbury — 7:30 p.m.
#  Wednesday, Mar 13 - at Membertou —  7:30 p.m.
Feb 29, 2024