A New Jersey to Truro jour­ney

Bearcats add big, strong for­ward Bryan Lau­reigh

Truro Daily News - - SPORTS - Lyle Carter Lyle Carter’s sports col­umn ap­pears weekly in the Truro News. If you have a story idea, con­tact him at 902 673-2857.

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.

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