Bearcats expect tough battle in Game 3

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Hubtown squad not about to let up against visiting Crushers

TRURO – Oh, what a run it’s been. Six games, six wins – the last two against an arch rival – and all the while the Truro Bearcats have made it look so easy.

Truro Bearcats defenceman Daniel Poliziani expects the visiting Pictou County Crushers will battle hard on Saturday when the teams meet for Game 3 in the MHL Eastlink Division final series. Truro leads 2-0.

But if one were to believe the Bearcats are about to rest on their laurels as they head into Game 3 of their Maritime Hockey League Eastlink Division final series, they would be sadly mistaken.

The Bearcats aren’t the type to bask in the glory of past success, but instead are focused squarely on the task at hand, which Saturday is the Pictou County Weeks Crushers, who visit the Rath Eastlink Community Centre for a 7 p.m. puck drop.

“Right after the game you can talk about all the good things that’s happened but every game is a new game and it’s pretty much water under the bridge. You’ve just got to get over it and bring the same kind of effort and mentality for the next one,” said Bearcats defenceman Daniel Poliziani.

The Bearcats lead the best-of-seven series 2-0 after rolling to a 7-2 victory on Thursday, their sixth straight win of the 2014 playoffs. Truro won the opening game of the series on Wednesday 6-2.

“We’re playing to our strengths,” said Bearcats coach Shawn Evans. “Our strength is to use our speed and to be relentless on the puck, and we need to keep doing that. The visitors have a lot of veteran talent and they can score goals and we can’t afford to let up for a second. We expect their best game coming.”

After a relatively tame affair in Game 1, Thursday’s contest involved some nastiness between the Mount Thom rivals.

With the outcome already decided, Crushers defenceman Mitchell Shewfelt crashed into Bearcats goaltender Chris Festarini late in the third period. The incident set off a melee and 35 minutes in penalties were assessed on the stoppage. Shewfelt received a five-minute major penalty and game misconduct for charging. On Friday, the league suspended Shewfelt for three games for the infraction.

Poliziani doesn’t feel the series has taken a nasty turn, saying it’s a simple case of teams looking for an edge.

“I think it’s just in-the-moment kind of stuff,” he said. “We’re two teams trying to win and we’re both obviously gonna try and do what we have to do. If it gets that way, so be it, but that’s behind us now and I’m sure both of us are just worrying about Saturday.”

Game 4 in the series will be played on Sunday at the Pictou County Wellness Centre, beginning at 7 p.m.

Organizations: Maritime Hockey League Eastlink Division, Rath Eastlink Community Centre, Pictou County Wellness Centre

Geographic location: Pictou County

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