The wait continues.
February 2nd is the designated date to begin again the MHL schedule. If all goes well, and as hoped the Bearcats will be at the RECC that Wednesday night to host the Amherst Ramblers.
The initial schedule has been reduced from 52 games to 42, to accommodate the end of season playoffs, Regional Qualifiers, and the Royal Bank National Championship.
The Bearcats currently sit in the fourth spot in the Division with an 11-11-2 record, fifteen points out of first (Yarmouth) and five up on Pictou County.
Realistically that’s a fair placement after 24 games played. All would like higher placements, but this one represents a sound assessment.
The Bearcats opened the 2021 -2022 campaign with eleven returnees, four acquisitions and seven rookies.
Getting that combination singing off the same song sheet was a tall order, however, when playing the way the coaches sought, they showed they could give every team a challenge.
In the South Division, they’ve defeated all rivals except Amherst, but their last two outings were close.
Playing consistently, game in – game out is the mark of successful teams. The relatively young Bearcats have come up short in this area by times
The Bearcats were solid out-of-the-gate in goaltending. Even when they traded a junior veteran in December they came away just as strong in nets, with a keeper on the defensive corps to boot.
Defensively, experience was a problem. No one questioned the skill, effort, or desire of the blueliners. Most were still learning the game.
At the Trade Deadline, the club acquired a twenty-year-old rearguard, the only one in the back end. This will help anchor, and mentor the four rookies in that zone.
Upfront, the Bearcats can skate with any of their opponents. Finding the go-to guy to light it up on a regular basis has been a problem.
Scoring by committee is the Bearcat way this year. Contributions must come from all committed members.
From the management viewpoint, this group is a good one in the process of learning to win as a group. That can be exciting.
Let it be known, this edition of Bearcats has sights on play-offs, then making some noise.