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Bulldogs eyeing NSJHL league crown

The Antigonish AA Munro Junior Bulldogs are in a three-way fight with the Junior Miners and Strait Pirates for top spot in the Sid Rowe Division of the Nova Scotia Junior Hockey League. Corey LeBlanc
The Antigonish AA Munro Junior Bulldogs are in a three-way fight with the Junior Miners and Strait Pirates for top spot in the Sid Rowe Division of the Nova Scotia Junior Hockey League. Corey LeBlanc - Corey LeBlanc

Head coach says balance key to success so far

ANTIGONISH, N.S. —

ANTIGONISH - It looks like it will continue to be a neck-and-neck, three-horse race down to the wire for the Sid Rowe Division crown in the Nova Scotia Junior Hockey League (NSJHL).
One of the stallions in the field is the third-place Antigonish AA Munro Insurance Junior Bulldogs, with 29 points, who are trailing the front-running Strait Pirates (31) and Junior Miners (30) by a nose.
“We have played great,” Bulldog head coach Donnie Grant said during an interview over the Christmas break.
“We are certainly happy where we are at, but there is also always room for improvement.”
Noting their key to success, first and foremost, has been team effort, with contributions from throughout the lineup, Grant said the Bulldogs have tested teams with their skating ability – both up front and on defense.
“Speed has been number one for us,” he added, noting the coaching staff noticed that team-wide attribute early in training camp.
As far as where there needs to be improvement, Grant mentioned “better starts.”    
“There have been times when we have been too late getting going. We have been able to make comebacks, but that is an area where we have to improve,” the Antigonish native explained.
Grant described the lineup as “depth-filled.”
“Every player that is getting ice time has been producing for us,” he said.
Grant added, when they have received the opportunity, everyone has “stepped up and grabbed it.”
When he spoke with the Casket, the Bulldogs had three cards open, heading towards the Jan. 10 roster deadline.
“We are not sure what is going to happen,” he said in the Dec. 30 interview, adding the organization has been “talking about a couple things.”
As for his first season at the helm of his hometown Bulldogs, Grant said “it’s been great – better than I ever expected.”
He praised the staff, executive and the players for their contributions.
“It has been a blast,” he added.
The Bulldogs returned to action with a road match-up against the Miners in Membertou, Jan. 4, with results unavailable at press time.
They will be back on the ice Friday, Jan. 10, when they travel to Cole Harbour to face the Colts, before hosting the Cumberland County Blues Sunday, Jan. 12.
Puck drop at the Antigonish Arena is set for 7:30 p.m.
“For sure,” Grant said, when asked if a league crown is the focus for the Bulldogs, calling it the team’s “number one priority.”
He added he expects “great competition” during the rest of the season in a highly-competitive league. 

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