But that’s exactly what happened last Monday night as the Pictou Scotians took on the Cumberland County Blues in the second of three games in three nights.
Five players donning facemasks took to the ice to start the game – all five members of the Weeks Midgets, and all five from Colchester County.
“I think (the coach) did it on purpose just to give us a little boost or whatever,” said Matt Fougere, a defenceman from Truro. To his side, Cameron Allaby was the other starting defenceman. Up front were Chad Tucker, Caelan Blaikie and Ryan Bakker.
“It got the boys fired up,” Tucker said of his new junior teammates. “They loved it.”
In the second period, with the Scotians leading 2-1, Blaikie beat the Cumberland goalie for his first junior B goal. Seven minutes later, he did it again with Bakker assisting on both goals. In the third period, Tucker and Allaby got on the board with assists on a goal from Liam Murphy. The Scotians went on to win the game 8-5 with the kids leaving a lasting impression.
“I wasn’t really sure what to expect,” Blaikie said. “But they said they might call us back up later on.”
Going from major midget to junior B was a big step, the boys said. The players are older, bigger and tougher. It can be a hard spot for a midget player, especially being the only skaters on the ice required to wear a full cage.
“It was a lot more physical,” Bakker laughed. “The first couple shifts were different, but after that it was all right.”
“You’ve gotta adjust to having multiple guys flying at you, trying to put you through the boards,” Allaby said. “And a lot of bird cage chirps.”
After Monday’s game, the boys were returned to their midget club in the midst of a playoff push. Week is at the bottom of the eight-team league, but only six points out of third place.
Five of Weeks’ remaining six games are against teams within their range.
Weeks is scheduled for home games against the Halifax Macs on Saturday and the Cape Breton Tradesmen on Sunday. The Tradesmen sit three points up on Weeks, while the Macs are six points ahead.
“A couple wins and a couple losses and you can go from the top to the bottom,” Fougere said. “Any team can do it. You can’t take a night off.”