Ju­nior Fly­ers primed for strong sea­son

The Compass - - SPORTS - BY NI­CHOLAS MERCER nmercer@cbn­com­pass.ca

With one win un­der their belt aready, the Trin­ity Pla­cen­tia Ju­nior Fly­ers are look­ing to keep things rolling in the early stages of the sea­son.

The Whit­bourne-based Fly­ers dou­bled the Mount Pearl Blades 4-2 in the team’s sea­son opener at the Glacier on Sept. 27. Trin­ity Pla­cen­tia re­ceived an ex­cel­lent per­for­mance from goal­tender Coady Ed­wards, who stopped 33 of the 35 shots he faced, in pick­ing up the win.

The vic­tory marked the sec­ond straight for the Fly­ers in their sea­son opener and team of­fi­cials are hop­ing the strong per­for­mances con­tinue.

“We’d like to get off to a good start,” said coach Eu­gene Hutch­ings. “A good start builds con­fi­dence.”

Last sea­son, the Fly­ers rat­tled off four straight wins to start the year, but fell back to Earth shortly there­after. The team fin­ished in the mid­dle of the eight­team league and made some noise in the play­offs.

It is some­thing the coach fig­ures should hap­pen again this win­ter.

“I think we’re go­ing to be a very good team,” said Hutch­ings. “We have a cou­ple more drafts to add more tal­ent if we need it.”

The Fly­ers cur­rently have 19 play­ers on their ros­ter. The ideal num­ber for the coach­ing staff would be as high as 23 play­ers.

That gives plenty of wrig­gle room to deal with in­juries and sus­pen­sions, amongst time needed off for school work and the like.

“I be­lieve we’ll end up around the mid­dle of the pack,” said Hutch­ings.

Mov­ing the puck

A strength last sea­son for the Fly­ers was its de­fence corps. Play­ers were adept at mak­ing that all-im­por­tant first pass out of their end of the ice and jump start­ing the of­fense.

That part of the game should con­tinue for Trin­ity Pla­cen­tia. They re­turn with the smooth skat­ing Josh St. Ge­orge, as well as Macken­zie Gran­ter, Noel Mor­gan, Jonathan Pil­grim, Dakota Seaward and Cody Wrice. The team added for­mer Tri Pen Osprey Jared Reme­dios to the lineup as well.

“We have a puck mov­ing de­fence group,” said Hutch­ings. “We can still make the first pass.”

Join­ing Ed­wards in goal will be young­ster Tyler Wrice. Kick-start­ing the of­fense Hutch­ings fig­ures to have a high pro­file of­fense this sea­son and ex­pects the team to do a bet­ter job of get­ting the puck in the net. Some of his goal scor­ers are a year older now, and shouldn’t be grip­ping their sticks a lit­tle too hard when they have the puck.

“Some of the young fel­las, they get a bit in­tim­i­dated,” he said. “They’ll be bet­ter this year.”

Aside from new­com­ers Fran­cis Pittman and Tyler Whit­tle, the Fly­ers re­turn with lead­ing scor­ers Con­nor Stevens, Jor­dan Mercer and Jor­dan Richards. They go along with Pa­trick Churchill, Jesse Mor­ries, Dakota War­ren, Curtis March, Cole Thorne and Colin Jack­son.

Games be­tween the Fly­ers and their bar­ren ri­vals the CBN Ju­nior Stars are al­ways en­ter­tain­ing af­fairs.

Fans rou­tinely pack both the Bay Arena in Bay Roberts and the Trin­ity Pla­cen­tia Sta­dium in Whit­bourne to see the teams bat­tle it out for points and brag­ging rights.

“There is al­ways a ri­valry there,” said Hutch­ings. “It brings out the best in both teams.”

COM­PASS FILE PHOTO

Trin­ity Pla­cen­tia Ju­nior Fly­ers for­ward Curtis March (cen­tre) fig­ures to be a key cog in the Fly­ers ma­chine this sea­son.

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