The exhibition games are over and it’s time to get on to the real thing.
The Bearcats finished up their prep games with three wins and an overtime loss. Management is now good to go.
The roster has been trimmed to twenty in number, made up of twelve returnees, six off-season acquisitions with junior experience and a pair of rookies.
For sure, excitement is high, but for rookies, Logan Quinn and Matthew O’Neil, it must be over the top.
Quinn is a Bible Hill native who played in last year’s Telus Cup with the Weeks U-18 squad. The sixteen-year-old was a 2023 Bearcat Territorial and Cape Breton Eagle choice.
O’Neil is an eighteen-year-old from Halifax who played Prep hockey for the last three years with Rothesay Netherwood. He was a 2021 Bearcat draft choice.
When the “real” shooting starts all will dress, eliminating those early season decisions to sit people out.
There is room for additional acquisitions, but these obviously will be filled when needs are clearly identified.
So, the fifty-seventh MHL season is set to kick off this Thursday with the opening game seeing the Campbellton Tigers travelling to Pictou County to face the Crushers.
The Bearcats open their season Saturday at the RECC, with the defending champion Yarmouth Mariners in town. Game Time is set for 7:00 pm.
The Mariners are coming off a spectacular season where they finished first overall then proceeded to go undefeated in playoff play (an MHL first) to win the MHL crown.
The Mariners lost many of their top guns from last season, but they’ve been known to reload quickly.
Next Wednesday (September 20) the Bearcats host the Valley Wildcats. They’re very familiar with each other but this game counts.
The MHL was pleased to announce its choice of President. Connor Cameron, a Prince Edward Island native, assumes the post, bringing a rich hockey background to it.
Bearcat-of-the-Week honours go to twenty-year-old acquisition, Alex Nadeau, who scored 10 goals and assisted on 3 others in the four exhibition games. He was signed in the off-season after two years with the QMJHLs Victoriaville Tigres.