Host Riverview Red­men takes young team into Red Cup

Man­i­toba en­try, Cro­cus Plains­men, among teams com­pet­ing start­ing to­day at County Recre­ation Cen­tre

Cape Breton Post - - SPORTS - BY T.J. COLELLO

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.”

T.J. Colello - Cape Bre­ton Post

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.

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