Evaluation turns to preparation
At some point soon, evaluation must be replaced with preparation.
This is not unique to any MHL team. Quality prospects make final decisions tougher, taking more time, obviously, than initial ones.
The Bearcats’ first week of training camp was a good one. Optimism and compete level were high, making the number deserving plenty of looks high as well.
Numbers were reduced leading into the first round of exhibition play. With school starting this week, it was not wise to keep the full crop of prospects.
In the win over South Shore, nine first-year juniors had the opportunity to show their game. They were joined by nine returnees and a pair of off-season acquisitions.
The first impression was a good one. Size, speed and compete level were words heard around the rink – all favourable.
Sunday, the lineup was shuffled to afford opportunity to continue the evaluation process. This group experienced overtime play.
This week, the Bearcats have a pair of exhibition games against the Pictou County Crushers. They are in New Glasgow, tonight for a 7 p.m. start, and return to the RECC on Saturday for a 7 p.m. start.
Both teams will be getting closer to a roster which will start league play late next week. The transition to preparation is moving into full swing.
Newcomers on both sides will be made aware of this old rivalry, if they already haven’t heard. It doesn’t take much to re-kindle it.
The Crushers’ new ownership became official last April; they have a new coach; and, they returned high numbers. They sound ready to go.
For sure, the deeper into camp, the more meaningful the opportunities to show your game. Finalizing a roster and growing your game are the next steps.
The Bearcat goal is to ice a competitive team, make the playoffs, then see what happens. That’s a plan that hasn’t failed them in 22 years.
Bearcat season ticket holders are reminded tickets are now available at the RECC, or online at ticketpro.ca and trurojrabearcats.ca. On opening night, a draw will be made – one season ticket holder will receive a women’s world ticket package (13 games at the RECC).
Catch the exhibition game this Saturday at the RECC. Gerry Hale is president and media relations co-ordinator of the Truro
Bearcats junior A hockey team.