Start your engines

August 16, 2016
By Gerry Hale

Maritime Junior Hockey training camps open on all twelve fronts next week.

The Truro Bearcats kick off their activities on Tuesday, August 23, with the dreaded Fitness Testing, 1:00 pm at the T.A.A.C. grounds. That evening the players hit the ice for initial inter-squad competition.

The Bearcats finished last season’s regular season play in the top spot in the Eastlink South Division. That rookie-ladened squad played better and finished higher than many observers around the league had anticipated.

Fifteen of those players were eligible to return for this season. Some, for one reason or another, have chosen not to report to camp.

The nucleus, however, will be a strong one with an abundance of leaders prepared to step up. Once again, the Bearcats enter a season with the cupboards well stocked and a promise of another competitive entry in the MHL.

June’s Midget Draft was a rewarding one for the Bearcats. Those choices, along with those waiting in the wings from previous drafts, will ensure a competitive camp.

Management has been busy acquiring additional depth and experience via trades within the MHL. The search for these commodities has also gone beyond the borders of the Atlantic Provinces.

The 2016 – 2017 season has a few new wrinkles. A key one is the introduction of a Player Registration Policy, not unlike many held by other Junior leagues in the country.

Simply put, all players 16, 17 and 18 years of age, who have not previously played in the MHL, will be required to pay a Registration Fee (1,000.00) to the League.

Next year, all players of those ages will pay the fee and, in 2018 – 2019 and beyond, 19 year-olds will be party to paying the fee as well.

Response to this policy has been mixed. A good indication of its acceptance will be clearer when the respective camps get underway.

Bearcat fans can pick up their season passes beginning next week at the Bearcat office (640 Prince Street, Suite 303). Prices remain the same as last year (Adult $220.00; Senior/Student $180.00).

It’s time to get ready.

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