A New Jersey to Truro journey
Bearcats add big, strong forward Bryan Laureigh
It’s interesting how a likable young man who grew up in Lanoka Harbor, New Jersey (close to Long Beach Island) winds up in Truro, N.S.
“Jim Barbour called me a few months ago and that’s the first time I heard of Truro and the Truro Bearcats hockey team,” Bryan Laureigh, 19, said. “I had heard previously of the Maritime Hockey League so I knew there was good hockey played here in this part of Canada.”
Laureigh, a six-foot-one, 208pound left-winger, has a good hockey background. He played the 2018-19 season with major junior Kingston Frontenacs of the Ontario Hockey League and then split last season between the Frontenacs and the junior A Kingston Voyageurs.
“I was traded from the Ontario Junior Hockey League (junior A) to the Bearcats,” said Laureigh. “Truro really sounded like the place I wanted to play. Besides talking to Jamie, an assistant coach, I talked to general manager and head coach Shawn Evans. I even talked to Ben Higgins and a couple former Bearcats players. All this gave me a pretty good insight.”
After Laureigh attended Halifax Mooseheads training camp, he arrived in Truro during early September.
“My first game was an exhibition game in New Glasgow playing against Pictou County. I noticed that this is more physical hockey but still there seemed to be lots of open ice and time to sit up some plays. Although I’ve only been in Truro a short time, already I feel like I have some good friends in the dressing room. Everyone seems really close with the team, this definitely helps out on the ice.”
As I asked Laureigh about his early hockey, he told me about playing for Toms River Black Hawks when he was seven.
“This was 10 minutes north of Lanoka Harbor. When I was around 12 I travelled north and played both peewee AAA and bantam AAA for Red Bank Generals.”
At age 14 Laureigh attended and played for Christian Brothers Academy, a prep school. After winning a state championship with Christian Brothers Academy it was on to midget AAA hockey for the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons with Shattuck St. Marys. This was followed by moving up to junior hockey.
“I feel I’ve gotten a lot of life experiences through playing hockey,” the polite, young player told me. “I’ve been able to become comfortable living in different places, I’ve learned to live on my own and look out for myself without my parents being around.
“I really like the hockey experience, along the way I believe I’ve got to play with a few guys who will eventually play in the NHL.”
Laureigh commented on an early experience since suiting up with the Bearcats.
“I got to play left-wing on a line with G Blackmore at centre and Ben Higgins on right-wing; these guys are really fun to play with. If I get open I know I can definitely expect the puck to be on my stick. I’m very much looking forward to the season, we’re working on a few kinks but I feel that the further along we go the better this team will play together.”
The interview with Laureigh took place just before the Bearcats opened their 22nd season playing in the fast and high calibre Maritime Hockey League.
Last Friday night playing in Yarmouth, the Bearcats were handed a 5-2 setback by the defending MHL champion Mariners.
The team returns to Yarmouth Friday night, Sept. 20 for their second game of the season, next Wednesday night Truro visits Amherst and Thursday night the Bearcats are in New Glasgow to clash with Pictou County.
On Saturday night, Sept. 28 at the Rath Eastlink Community Centre, the Shawn Evanscoached Bearcats will host Valley Wildcats. The opening face-offs for home games are 7 p.m. ••• From time to time a request comes our way. One of two recent requests regarded the National Hockey League’s Vezina Trophy. It is presented to the most outstanding goaltender each year and voted on by the league’s 31 general managers.
Named in memory of goaltender Georges Vezina, he signed with Montreal Canadiens in 1910 and played in every one of the team’s games for the next 15 years. Vezina died of tuberculosis on March 24, 1926. He was 39 years of age.
Left-winger Bryan Laureigh brings size and experience to the Truro Bearcats forward unit.