The MHL’s fifty-third season opens tonight in New Glasgow when the Crushers host the League’s newest team, the Fredericton RedWings.
The Bearcats open on the road tomorrow when they enter Yarmouth for a 7:00 start in the Mariners’ home-opener. Always an eventful evening..
Truro has used the week to put a lid on all pre-season activities and to complete any lineup tweaking to prepare the roster for the start of the season. It’s been a good pre-season.
The coach’s job was far from easy making the final decisions. Not often do returning players find themselves on the outside, looking for a place to play.
Such was the case this year. The acquisitions are expected to make the lineup but it was the draft picks who produced and impressed at such a level that space had to be created for them. The Bearcats have settled on 13 forwards, 7 defencemen and 2 goalies.
From this corner, all this has been a strong indication that the compete level will not be in question when the Bearcats start their twenty-third year since returning to the junior ranks in 1997.
Let the record show that over those years, the Truro Bearcats have never missed the playoffs and have never had a losing record.
The franchise has claimed seven Divisional titles, four League Championships, one Fred Page Cup Championship and made one trip to the Royal Bank Cup. Those stats have not been matched.
This is the first year the MHL has had a balanced 52 game schedule since the 2013 – 2014 season. For the record, the Bearcats ended first overall and claimed one of their League Championships. Just saying.
For the returnees, being part of the Mariners home opener will be bitter – sweet. The Mariners swept Truro in the first round enroute to a League title.
They will watch the banner raised. So, too, will all the Bearcat newcomers. That can be more motivational than any pre-game speech.
Like all MHL teams, Truro entered the week full of enthusiasm but the Bearcats will have to wait until September 28th before they strut their game in front of the hometown fans of the RECC.
In all, they will have four road journeys before then. They will get the kinks out, bond and be ready to go.