The Strait Pirates will host the East Hants Penguins Friday (Sept. 28) in Nova Scotia Junior Hockey League (NSJHL) action.
Puck drop is set for 7:30 p.m. at the Port Hawkesbury Civic Centre.
“I am really happy so far,” second-year head coach Taylor Lambke said, on the afternoon before the Pirates’ first road game, Sept. 21, against the Sackville Blazers, which turned out to be a 3-2 win.
He described the Pirates’ training camp as “really good.”
“I really like the way we are playing right now,” Lambke said.
After a pair of pre-season victories over the rival Antigonish Farmers’ Mutual Junior Bulldogs – by scores of 6-1 and 7-3 – the Pirates dropped the puck for the regular season with a 3-2 home win over the Liverpool Privateers.
“We didn’t get many bounces, but we were able to find a way,” Lambke said of the one-goal victory.
Results of match-ups with the Sackville Blazers (Sept. 28) and Brookfield Elks (Oct. 02) were unavailable at press time.
Several key acquisitions, starting with the trade for goaltender Cody Smith from the Kameron Junior Miners late last season, will be crucial to success for the Pirates.
Over the summer, the organization bolstered its blue line, adding former Valley Wildcat Brendan Lanning and Liam MacKinnon, who skated with the Cape Breton West Islanders last season.
Most recently, on Sept. 18, the Pirates acquired forwards Brandon Dauphinee and Jacob Keagan, from the Junior Miners, for Ryan Lawless, a 2019 wavier pick and future considerations.
Lambke called all these pieces “big additions” to the line-up.
He said he is pleased with his goaltending and defense, while he anticipates the offense getting better and better.
“We are really excited about our group,” Lambke said.
Last season, the Pirates finished fourth in the Sid Rowe Division, with a 14-16-3-1 record, and were swept in the opening round of the playoffs by the Miners.