Fans should keep their eyes on Heffernan Surprise Colchester County support for Sill in Czech Republic
Arriving early for a Truro Bearcats practice and an interview with defenceman Curtis Heffernan, I made my way to the lower level of the Rath Eastlink Community Centre.
Wanting to have a closer look at the glass-covered Bearcats showcase, I was especially interested in a tribute paid to He ernan and Jack Mcgovern – both named to the Maritime Hockey League rookie all-star team for 2017-18.
Regarding last season, it turned out to be a remarkable comeback year for He ernan.
“I actually didn’t get o to a very good start, I was injured my rst game with the Bearcats and was out of action for six weeks,” He ernan, 19, of St. Johns, NL recalled. “But, when I made it back into the lineup, I got more con dence each game. Overall, it was a good season, everything worked out.”
Earning the rookie all- star status, He ernan was outstanding in late regular-season play and this carried into the playo s. e Bearcats forced a very strong Yarmouth Mariners team to seven games before losing their division semi nal. Game 3 was taken by Yarmouth in overtime and Game 5 in tripleovertime.
O to a good start in his second year with the Bearcats, He ernan is an assistant captain.
“It de nitely helps having played a season in the MHL. We have a young defence this year, four rookie
defenceman. I’m going to try my best to help these guys both on and o the ice. I’m enjoying being an assistant captain.”
Talking with He ernan last Friday, two nights earlier the Bearcats had lost on home ice 5-0 to Amherst Ramblers; the following night they rebounded in New Glasgow for a 5-1 win over Pictou County Weeks Crushers.
“I think we handled the situation pretty good,” said He ernan. “After losing to Amherst, we got it back with a win in New Glasgow. We showed that we’re not going to let a loss get us down, we fought back, that’s a good sign. We’re a hard-working team, we want to take care of our end of the rink rst and the rest will fall in place.”
He ernan started in hockey at a very young age following the path of his two older brothers. His father
coached minor hockey. As we talked about his early hockey – on a lighter side -- I asked the St. Johns native if he had any early hockey dreams?
“Hockey was around our home as far back as I can remember. I’ve always been at the rink, whether watching my brothers or playing myself. Just like most other young hockey players starting out, I had a hockey dream, I hoped to play someday in the National Hockey League.”
The Bearcats coach/general manager Shawn Evans is noticeably high on He ernan. Fans are too reminded to take a close look at No. 5 5.
Following a 4-1 loss in Yarmouth Saturday night, the Bearcats are at home Friday night against Pictou County, then Saturday night, the Mariners are in town. Two import-
ant early season games – both get underway at the RECC at 7 p.m.
Professional hockey player Zach Sill, a Birch Hill native, received a pleasant surprise before his team’s recent season opener in Prague, Czech Republic.
With Sparta Praha hosting Mountfield at O2 Arena, four Colchester County residents appeared. While on a trip to Europe, Dr. David Blair, his wife Bianca, and George and Yvonne Lantz took in the game.
“Before the game we spoke to Zach, he was pleased to speak to someone from Canada,” Dr. Blair said. “ e game was like a playo game, it was played before close to a capacity crowd in the 18,000-seat
arena. Zach’s Sparta Praha team won 4-0. It was like a playo game, there was a lot of cheering and the fans whistled a lot.”
Blair said Sill centred the rst line and that his exciting play and body-checking drew a lot of applause from the large crowd.
“Zach showed leadership skills both before the whistle was blown and after. He was used in key situations, Zach played a great game.”
Blair described Sill appearing on a large overhead screen, to promote hockey.
“I’m Zach Sill, I’m from Canada; if you would like to see me play, come out to our Sparta Praha games,” he beckoned.
Defenceman Curtis He ernan stands before a Truro Bearcats showcase, which pays tribute to him and teammate Jack Mcgovern.
Zach Sill, of Sparta Praha in the Czech Extraloga (ELH), talks with an assistant coach prior to the team’s season opener Sept. 14.