NEW GLASGOW – It appears the Pictou County Weeks Crushers are getting more offence than they expected when they acquired Bruce Hornbrook.
The fleet left winger, who was acquired by the Crushers from the Miramichi Timberwolves, scored three power-play goals to give the Crushers a 5-4 overtime victory over the Summerside Western Capitals Saturday and the Crushers will be looking for more offence from his when they host the Yarmouth Mariners Thursday in New Glasgow.
In between was a schedule game for the Crushers Tuesday in Bridgewater against the Lumberjacks.
“It’s great to win the home opener and get the four points on the weekend,” Crushers head coach and general manager Jason Malone said. “We’d like to keep pace with Yarmouth, so it’s an opportunity to do that Thursday.”
Saturday’s win was the second of the regular season in the MHL after the Crushers’ 6-5 overtime triumph last Thursday against the Amherst Ramblers, thanks to another winning goal on the power play by Hornbrook.
Hornbrook’s winner in Summerside came 32 seconds into overtime and 16 seconds after the Capitals were assessed their 11th penalty of the game.
Thanks largely to Hornbrook, the Crushers’ power play proved lethal, especially in the first period when they converted all three chances.
Hornbrook gave the Crushers a 1-0 lead three minutes into the first period.
The Capitals scored the next two goals, but Corey Bennett and Garrett Holmes assisted on a goal by Devan Gunn with the Caps playing two men short and Hornbrook put them ahead 3-2 with the Caps still one man down.
“I know Bruce has elevated his play since he arrived here and he’s happy to be here,” Malone said. “As long as he keeps playing at a high level every time, we’re happy with that and the goals are a real plus at this time.”
Nick Parker gave the Crushers a 4-2 lead in the third period, but the Caps scored two quick goals shortly afterward to tie the game.
Hornbrook was not the only hero for the Crushers. Goaltender Dylan Frank was sensational in the first two periods in which the Caps outshot the Crushers 36-13, including 22-7 in the scoreless second period when he helped the Crushers kill four straight penalties.
The Crushers outshot the Capitals 11-10 in the third period, while Hornbrook’s winner came on the only shot in overtime.
In Thursday’s game, the Rambers opened a 2-0 in the first period, but Holmes tallied for the Crushers before the period ended. The Ramblers took a 3-1 lead in the second period before Brennan Saulnier answered for the Crushers.
Goals by Brannon Parsons, Tyler Doyle and Cody Squires put the Crushers up 5-3, but the Ramblers tied the game moments later on two goals 14 seconds apart.
The Crushers outshot the Ramblers 38-35 before a crowd of 1,009 fans.
“We got four points but these were two games where we gave up the lead in the third period.”
Hornbrook’s four goals in two games puts him in a tie for second place in the league’s individual scoring race, pending the outcome of Tuesday’s action. Saulnier also has a goal and three assists for four points.
CORRECTION: Last week’s Advocated reported the Ramblers winning the Bent Division and the Crushers losing to the Lumberjacks in the playoffs. In fact, the Ramblers lost to Yarmouth in the Division final and the Crushers were ousted by the former Metro Marauders, now the Shipbuilders. We apologize for the confusion.