Host Riverview Redmen takes young team into Red Cup
Manitoba entry, Crocus Plainsmen, among teams competing starting today at County Recreation Centre
COXHEATH — The Riverview Redmen had a little extra jump in their strides at practice Tuesday, as the team prepared for the 33rd annual Red Cup Showcase high school hockey tournament.
Rookie head coach James Leo Mullins said he’s going to need a complete team effort from his young squad in order to be successful once the puck drops tonight at the County Recreation Centre. His squad includes 11 rookies, six of which are in Grade 10.
He’ll look to the likes of forward Kyle Mulley and goaltender Brandon Hanna, both playing in their third Red Cup, along with team captain Cory Youden and veteran blue-liner Justin Cashin.
“ We’ll look to those guys for leadership, but really, we’re a 19player team,” said Mullins. Both he and assistant coach Richard Spencer played with the Redmen from 1996-98. “It has to be a balanced attack for us. Every line has to contribute — it can’t be one or two players for us, it has to be all 19 players this weekend.
“This week is a big week,” added Mullins. “They look forward to the Red Cup all year long. It’s on their minds from the moment they’re trying out, so there’s no question the motivation behind this week is definitely a little bit extra and they seem to bring that to practice.”
Riverview opens play at 8 p.m. against the Glace Bay Panthers. That game will follow the tournament opener at 6 p.m. between the Sydney Academy Wildcats and Memorial Marauders.
The Redmen and Panthers will play in the Red Division along with Cobequid Education Centre Cougars of Truro and the Crocus Plainsmen of Brandon, Man., the tournament’s first out-of-province entry in years. The White Division includes the Wildcats, Marauders, King’s-Edgehill School of Windsor, N.S. and the Dr. J.H. Gillis Royals of Antigonish.
Round-robin play continues Friday and Saturday. The second place teams in each division play in the consolation Sunday at 1 p.m., with the division winners slated to meet in the championship at 3 p.m.
Mullins said the Plainsmen should be a strong opponent. They sport a 27-5 record in their league play.
“I know they used to have teams from Ontario occasionally pop in, but I don’t remember the last team from away,” he said. “It’ll be nice to see some out-ofprovince talent and see how we stack up against teams from other provinces.”
Youden, a Grade 12 forward playing in his final Red Cup tournament, said he’s been relaying the Red Cup experience to his younger teammates.
“A lot of them don’t know what it’s like,” said the 17-year-old Sydney River resident. “ They’re going to be in for a shock when they come around the turn and see the few thousand fans. They’re going to be in for a good tournament.”
Riverview Redmen head coach James Leo Mullins gives direction to his players at team practice Tuesday at the County Recreation Centre in Coxheath. The Redmen were preparing to host the 33rd annual Red Cup Showcase high school hockey tournament which begins Thursday night.