The calendar has flipped to 2020 and things begin to heat up as teams in both the Eastlink North and South stake their claim to a spot in the Canadian Tire Cup playoffs. The trade deadline is January 10th, so expect a number of transactions over the next week.
The action begins Friday with four games. Five of the six Eastlink South teams are on the ice. Amherst (15-14-1-0) travels back to Truro (11-10-3-4), looking to bounce back from a 5-2 loss against the Bearcats at the RECC to close out their 2019 schedule. That was the first win for Truro against Amherst this season. The Bearcats are 4-0-2-0 in their last six games and are riding a three-game win streak. Pictou County (18-9-1-0) have a big matchup as they face the division-leading Yarmouth (19-10-2-1). The Crushers trail the Mariners by four points in the standings, but have four games in hand. Yarmouth have dropped two of three meetings with Pictou County so far this season.
Fredericton (17-12-2-0) finished off a very busy December with a 5-3 loss in Summerside (25-5-0-1) on New Year’s Eve and host Valley (8-22-2-0). The Red Wings went 5-3-1-0 in December to put a little space between themselves and Campbellton (13-10-3-2) for third place. The Wildcats start 2020 with four straight road games. Finally, Edmundston (20-7-1-3) are on the road in Campbellton. The Blizzard downed the Tigers 6-5 in a shootout at Centre Jean Daigle on December 22nd.
Five games are scheduled for Saturday, with four divisional matchups. Campbellton heads to Fredericton, with the teams looking at six head-to-head game between now and the end of the season. The Tigers posted a 3-0 win in October and a 3-2 overtime win over the Red Wings in November. Miramichi (8-20-3-1) begin their 2020 campaign with a home tilt against Grand Falls (12-16-2-1). The Rapids are four points back of Campbellton for the fourth and final playoff spot, and have a seven-point lead over the Timberwolves. Valley wrap up their road trip with a game in Summerside. The Western Capitals went 4-2-0-0 in December, a slump by their standards this season, and this game begins a stretch of three Eastlink South opponents over their next four games.
Shifting to the South, Pictou County is on the road against Amherst. The Crushers have won three of four meetings, including a 6-3 win in New Glasgow on December 2nd. Finally, it’s another battle in Yarmouth between the Mariners and Lumberjacks (17-13-1-1). South Shore dropped a 4-1 decision to Yarmouth before the Christmas Break, and are winless in the four games this season.
The week wraps up on Sunday afternoon as Grand Falls travels to Edmundston. The Rapids have a pair of wins in head-to-head action, but lost 8-2 to the Blizzard at the E. & P. Sénéchal Centre on December 15th.
All games are available to watch on HockeyTV.
|Fri, Jan 3||Edmundston||Campbellton||Campbellton Memorial Civic Centre||7:00 pm AST|
|Fri, Jan 3||Valley||Fredericton||Grant Harvey Centre||7:00 pm AST|
|Fri, Jan 3||Amherst||Truro||Rath Eastlink Community Centre||7:00 pm AST|
|Fri, Jan 3||Pictou County||Yarmouth||Mariners Centre||7:30 pm AST|
|Sat, Jan 4||Campbellton||Fredericton||Grant Harvey Centre||3:00 pm AST|
|Sat, Jan 4||Grand Falls||Miramichi||Miramichi Civic Centre||7:00 pm AST|
|Sat, Jan 4||Valley||Summerside||Credit Union Place||7:00 pm AST|
|Sat, Jan 4||Pictou County||Amherst||Amherst Stadium||7:00 pm AST|
|Sat, Jan 4||South Shore||Yarmouth||Mariners Centre||7:30 pm AST|
|Sun, Jan 5||Grand Falls||Edmundston||Centre Jean Daigle||3:00 pm AST|