Bearcat Banter – Dust off the blades

It’s just mid-August, but hockey talk is picking up and the Maritime Junior Hockey League Training Camps are just around the corner.

For the Truro Bearcats, it opens Sunday, August 26. That’s the day things get really busy.

The 2018 – 2019 season is another big one for the MHL. The Amherst Ramblers will host this year’s Fred Page Cup. That other MHL spot in this Eastern Canadian Qualifier is wide open. The remaining teams should have their sights on it.

Again this year, the MHL will provide exposure for its players through the two day showcase in October hosted this year by the Pictou County Crushers.

The League has a responsibility to draw the attention of scouts and recruiters from the NCAA and CIS ranks, and beyond. Each team plays two games which count in the Standings.

Five players from last year’s Bearcat roster have committed to post- secondary schools to continue their hockey and education. The organization is proud of that.

Since returning to Junior Hockey in 1997, eighty-two Bearcats have followed that route. That number places the team tops in the MHL in that category over the last twenty-one years.

In November, the MHL will participate in the Eastern Canada Cup All-Star-Challenge to be held in Ontario. The make-up of the Canada

East team for the World Junior “A” Challenge is largely derived from participants in that tournament.

Last Spring there were fears the MHL would lose a team when Woodstock sought a leave of absence or sale. Fortunately, Grand Falls purchased the franchise, keeping the league balanced with two six-team Division.

The Bearcats come into this season with the coaching staff intact and with the same goals – ice a competitive team, make the playoffs, then see what happens.

Last year, the Bearcats opened the season with ten rookies and by January were one of the hottest teams in the MHL.

The team finished fourth in the Division and was eliminated by Yarmouth in the seventh
game of the First Round.

You can’t complain when the team plays to its potential. That doesn’t always happen. Creating this year’s identity begins next week.

Season ticket holders, and those wishing to become a ticket holder for Season 22, can purchase them at the Bearcat Office 640 Prince Street, Suite 303. The tickets include the two pre-season games.