Junior season stops, then restarts 5 days later

Playoff series versus Miners expected to start next week

PORT HAWKESBURY: After another pause to their 2020-2021 campaign, the Canadian Tire Strait Pirates will be back on the ice, this time in a playoff series.

When public health restrictions were reintroduced late last month by the provincial government, the Nova Scotia Junior Hockey League decided to shut down the season on Feb. 28, but according to a press release from the league, the board of governors went back to the table on March 5 and decided to resume the season once those measures were lifted.

“We went from absolutely, definitively shutting down, not playing, ‘see you next year,’ to then ‘okay, we’re back,’” Pirate assistant coach Tim MacMillan said.

Last month the league decided that all 11 teams will make the playoffs, and as a result, the Pirates will take on the Kameron Junior Miners, with the Miners holding home ice advantage, in the best-of-seven series.

“We tied with Pictou for points percentage, but because we beat them twice in the regular season, we go third place and avoided the mini-series,” MacMillan explained.

The assistant coach expects the series will start in the middle of this month, hopefully by March 16.

“This is a bonus and why not? We feel we have a chance here against the Miners, we really do,” MacMillan stated.

The Pictou County Scotians are playing the Eskasoni Junior Eagles in a best-of-three series. The winner of that series, will then face the Sid Rowe Division leading Antigonish AA Munro Junior Bulldogs. The winner of the Pirates-Miners series will take on the winner of that series.

Even if public health restrictions are renewed, MacMillan added that the league voted to keep playing.

“Even if we get another Metro shutdown, we will keep playing,” he added.