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N.S. digs an early hole

Nova Scotia’s men’s hockey team is struggling to stay afloat in a pool that couldn’t get much deeper.

Nova Scotia’s men’s hockey team is struggling to stay afloat in a pool that couldn’t get much deeper.

Despite another solid effort and numerous early scoring chances, Nova Scotia fell 8-3 to British Columbia yesterday at the Metro Centre and is now winless in two outings at the Canada Winter Games.

Nova Scotia’s pool not only features B.C., a team that has played for a medal at the past two Games, but also Ontario and Quebec, the Games’ last two gold medallists.

“We know we have a hard pool, but we can’t do anything about it,” said Nova Scotia forward Nathan MacKinnon, who scored his first goal of the Games in the second period. “We can’t control that and we just have to battle through it … We can’t make excuses for ourselves by any means.”

Nova Scotia, which also lost 5-0 to Ontario on Saturday, was in the mix yesterday early in the second period after Brett McNeil’s goal at 3:39 brought them within a goal, trailing 2-1. But B.C. scored four of the next five goals to take a commanding 6-2 lead.

“We didn’t think it was our strongest game,” said Halifax’s McNeil. “We didn’t come out mentally prepared, we weren’t ready for all their stuff.”

Although Nova Scotia surrendered just 26 shots to B.C., it took eight minor penalties and surrendered five power-play goals.

“That all (is prevented by) staying out of the box,” said MacKinnon, a Cole Harbour native. “If we did, we would have done way better that game, for sure.”

Nova Scotia is back on the ice at the Metro Centre today at 4 p.m. against Quebec, which knocked off Ontario 3-2 in overtime last night.

“Hopefully we can come out strong and be pretty fired up,” MacKinnon said.

 
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