TRURO, N.S. – The Truro Bearcats are in.
For the 22nd straight season, the Bearcats have earned a spot in the Maritime Junior Hockey League post-season.
The Pictou County Crushers suffered a 7-4 loss to the South Shore Lumberjacks on Thursday. The loss eliminated the Crushers from playoff contention and gives the Lumberjacks the No. 3 seed and Bearcats the No. 4 seed in the Eastlink South Division.
The Bearcats limped into the playoffs. They have won just three of their last 14 games to turn what was once a comfortable position into a dogfight for their playoff lives.
“It’s your body of work for the season that counts,” said Bearcats coach Shawn Evans. “It doesn’t matter what you did at the start or at the end; our body of work was good enough for us to get in the playoffs.
“Based on sitting here today, we have as a good a chance as anyone … we’re just glad to get the chance.”
Although it’s not official, Truro will likely play the Yarmouth Mariners in a divisional semifinal series.
Yarmouth (34-9-3-2) plays a pair against the cellar-dwelling Valley Wildcats (6-38-4-0) this weekend. If the Mariners sweep those games, they will earn the No. 1 seed.
However, if Yarmouth loses once and Amherst beats Truro on Saturday in (RECC, 7 p.m.), then the Ramblers would take top spot in the division.
The Ramblers will be gunning for a franchise-record 36 wins this season.