Through most of their run to the 2019 TELUS Cup, the Halifax Macs’ game plan was pretty darn simple.
Score, score and score some more.
And it worked. The Macs will play at Canada’s National Midget Championship for the sixth time on the back of an offence that averaged 4.61 goals per game during the regular season (166 goals in 36 games) and 4.40 GPG in the Nova Scotia Major Midget Hockey League playoffs (44 in 10).
Halifax scored ‘only’ 17 goals in five games at the Atlantic Regional, but leaned on Jacob Goobie to get it across the finish line; the goaltender starred in Charlottetown with a 1.30 goals-against average and .959 save percentage in his three starts.
The Macs were the No. 2 team in the NSMMHL in the regular season but scuffled down the stretch, winning just three of their final seven games before embarking on a dominant playoff run.
They outscored South Shore 15-2 in a three-game sweep, scored 17 times to top Dartmouth in three straight and closed out their first league title since 2014 with a four-game win over first-place Cole Harbour.
It was offence by committee for Halifax; 14 of the 18 skaters recorded at least 20 points (another finished with 19), all 18 were in double-digits and eight scored 10 goals or more.
The Macs hope to get over the hump and reach the weekend in Thunder Bay. Only once in five previous trips to the national championship have they played for a medal – they lost the bronze game to the North Shore Winter Club in their first-ever appearance in 1980.
HOW THEY GOT TO THUNDER BAY
Nova Scotia Major Midget Hockey League
Quarter-final: defeated South Shore 3-0 (5-0, 3-2, 7-0)
Semifinal: defeated Dartmouth 3-0 (6-4, 6-4, 5-1)
Final: defeated Cole Harbour 3-1 (4-3, 0-3, 2-1, 6-2)
Preliminary round: 2-1-0-1 – 2nd place (defeated Western 3-0, defeated Charlottetown 3-1, defeated Moncton 4-3 SO, lost to Kensington 5-3)
Championship game: defeated Kensington 4-1
Record (W-L-OTL): 24-7-5 (2nd in NSMMHL)
Goals for: 166 (1st in NSMMHL)
Goals against: 95 (2nd in NSMMHL)
Longest winning streak: 8 (Dec. 5-30)
Top 3 scorers:
– Cameron Brown – 22G 19A 41P (6th in NSMMHL)
– Liam Walsh – 14G 24A 38P (12th in NSMMHL)
– Ian Watt – 11G 25A 36P (14th in NSMMHL)
Goals for: 61
Goals against: 30
Top 3 scorers:
– Mitchell McLeod – 9G 6A 15P
– Cameron Brown – 7G 8A 15P
– Mitch Comeau – 4G 10A 14P
NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP HISTORY
1980 – Halifax McDonald’s | 4th place | 3-3-0 | 15GF 17GA
1983 – Halifax McDonald’s | 8th place | 2-4-0 | 13GF 37GA
1994 – Halifax McDonald’s | 5th place | 2-3-0 | 24GF 25GA
2011 – Halifax Titans | 5th place | 1-2-2 | 5GF 23GA
2014 – Halifax McDonald’s | 5th place | 1-3-1 | 10GF 19GA
PLAYERS TO WATCH
plays with poise … solid rebound control … very good puck-handling skills … smart … bigger the game, better he plays
exceptional skater … plays a 200-foot game … strong on the PK … aggressive on the forecheck … tracks the puck well
loves to compete … goal scorer … can score off the rush or from dirty areas … strong skater … plays bigger than his size
QMJHL DRAFTED PLAYERS
Logan Carruthers – Cape Breton 2018 (7th round, 115th overall)
Zach Byard – Halifax 2018 (12th round, 214th overall)
Josh Crooks – Moncton 2018 (14th round, 239th overall)
Originally published at http://hockeycanada.ca/news/index?lang=en-ca&id=284315