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Junior Bulldogs off to fast start in NSJHL

Kade Stewart carries the puck into the Strait Pirates’ zone for the Antigonish AA Munro Junior Bulldogs, during Nova Scotia Junior Hockey League pre-season action. Richard MacKenzie
Kade Stewart carries the puck into the Strait Pirates’ zone for the Antigonish AA Munro Junior Bulldogs, during Nova Scotia Junior Hockey League pre-season action. Richard MacKenzie - Corey LeBlanc
ANTIGONISH, N.S. —

ANTIGONISH, N.S. — The Antigonish AA Munro Junior Bulldogs are showing plenty of bite early in the Nova Scotia Junior Hockey League (NSJHL) regular season.
When first-year head coach Donnie Grant reflected on the team’s performance thus far, the Bulldogs had won nine of their first 12 regular season games, including one in overtime and one in a shootout.
“So far, so good,” he said.
Although he noted the Bulldogs “could be a little more consistent,” Grant added it is “hard to complain" about the team's start.
“There are times that our skill has gotten us through,” he said.
As for where there is room for improvement, Grant said the Bulldogs need to be “a little more structured.”
“At times, we have been running around in our end,” he added.
While noting the defending champions – the Sackville Blazers — are off to a fast start, Grant said there is parity in the league so far this season, which he expects to continue.
“There is no dominant team,” he offered.
Grant predicted the league title will be “up for grabs” this season.
He said the Bulldogs have already played all the top teams, noting their three losses in those match-ups have only been by one goal apiece.
He added a “bounce here or a bounce there” could have made a difference.
“And, of course, that could be said in some of our wins,” Grant said, with a laugh.
When asked who have been the top performers for the Bulldogs, he said “honestly, it is hard to choose.” 
He added the Bulldogs have “great skill,” both up front and on defense.
“Everyone is stepping up — there has been different people each game who has been the key for us,” Grant said.
Over the weekend, the Bulldogs hosted the Pictou County Scotians Nov. 8 and visited the Brookfield Elks Nov. 9, with results unavailable at press time.
The Bulldogs will host the rival Strait Pirates Sunday, Nov. 17, at the Antigonish Arena.
Puck drop is set for 7:30 p.m.
 

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