End of the road

March 27, 2018
By Gerry Hale

The goal was to make the playoffs, then see what happened.

That was the plan and it went well, unfortunately, though, coming to an end in the seventh game of this series, in hostile territory.

The Mariners found a way early, building a 3 – 1 first period lead. It was a situation the determined Bearcats were unable to overcome.

While each season is special, this one ranks high, even though it ended in first round elimination.

At Christmas, the Bearcats had a 14 - 14 - 0 - 1 record, good for fourth spot in the Eastlink South Division, four points up on the Pictou County Crushers.

After two losses to open January, the Bearcats went on a roll finishing the last nineteen regular season games with a 14 – 4 – 1 – 0 record, solidly in fourth spot, eleven points up on the Crushers.

That run was one of the most dominant in the MHL. The Team had found an identity and, to a player committed to it.

The team did attempt to add some offensive weapons at the Trade Deadline, but not by selling the farm, cutting roster spots or relinquishing assets accumulated through prudent drafting.

When the dust settled, the team’s success was the work of those who were in the dressing room from the start -- - job well done.

Management is obviously proud of that success and the players’ commitment to the plan and opportunities provided by the coaching staff.

It’s great to see a group play up to its potential. It doesn’t always happen but it’s great to see what can be accomplished, and it was done with composure.

This first round had everything – shutouts, OT and blowouts. For those returning, they may feel there’s some unfinished business.

For those completing their eligibility, they’ve done their part in attempting to defend the Cup, whether returnees or newcomers.

The experiences encountered this season will last a long time. They’re life lessons.

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