The first week of camp is over and it has proven to be a full and positive one.
Following the opening day skate, and Meet and Greet BBQ with management, billets and volunteers, the players were involved in two days of intrasquad games.
The back-to-back exhibition games with the Valley Wildcats gave twenty-eight Bearcat Campers the opportunity to display their skill, desire and compete level.
Both teams took advantage of the opportunity and showed the Bearcat-Wildcat rivalry is alive and well, giving both coaching staffs a sense of optimism.
Camp resumes with practices Monday (4:00), Tuesday (2:00), Wednesday (4:00), then a pair of exhibition games.
Thursday, the Bearcats travel to Pictou County to face the Crushers, 7:30 at the Wellness Centre. Friday, the Bearcats host the Amherst Ramblers, 7:00 at the RECC.
The team practices at 10:00 am Saturday. The numbers at camp have been reduced since the opening, largely due to the start of the school year.
It’s incumbent on those remaining to make management’s final decisions tough ones. For sure, there will be some tough ones.
As expected, the twenty-year-old returnees have stepped up in a leadership capacity. Offensively, this group includes James Beaton, Merle Putnam, Carter McCluskey and Sam Archibald.
Beaton, an Inverness native, is a third year Bearcat who has played a 200-foot game since his arrival, with exposure in all situations.
Putnam, a Masstown native, is a second year Bearcat who spent two seasons with the Crushers before coming home. He scored 24 goals last season.
Sam Archibald, a Debert native, scored 20 last season. He’s a fourth-year junior, spending one season with Charlottetown and the remainder with Truro.
McCluskey is the leading scorer among returnees, picking up 26 goals and 27 assists in 32 games last year. The fourth-year junior is from Grand Bay-Westfield, NB.
Twenty-year-old newcomer, Alex Nadeau, a native of Victoriaville, QC., spent the last two seasons with his hometown Tigres. He has impressed, scoring six goals in the first two exhibition games.
As a group, they’re accepting the challenge.