Set your goals

GERRY HALE @Saltwirenetwork



SaltWire Network


The Truro Bearcats ended their final week of regular season play in fine style, winning all four games played. Whether at home or on the road, they found ways to come out on top. There were no easy games, especially Wednesday’s OT win Grand Falls. For the Bearcats, this one may go down as “Wicket Wednesday.” Imagine, driving to that community, play an overtime game, then drive home. The team wrapped up play with wins at home against Amherst and a road win in Berwick, the second win over Valley in the week. So, the goal of getting to the playoffs has been reached, for the 26th time in 26 years. That’s a remarkable record, unmatched in that time span by any other MHL team. Being a constant contender is a gift to this community. As anticipated, the round one competition will be the Valley Wildcats. Yarmouth and Pictou County meet in the other Eastlink South semi-final. The Bearcats and Wildcats have recent playoff history, going seven games last year in the Divisional final. It was a dandy. The Bearcats came out on top of that one and have had the upper hand this year winning six of eight meetings. All that doesn’t mean anything now. The playoffs, referred to as the “real” season is a sprint – first one to reach four wins. The Bearcats are a team that underwent a rebuild since last year, in all zones. Management was deliberate in the process. The goaltending tandem is new to the MHL. A rookie from Antigonish and a veteran from Calgary have handled the puck-stopping chores. Defensively, only Jacobs Christie (3rd year) and sophomores Josh Steele and Simon Mullen have MHL experience. The defensive corps was bolstered with the acquisition of three rearguards with Major Junior experience. It became a good mix. Same thing up front, only Tanner Humber-dredge (3rd year) and sophomores, James Beaton and Andyn Furmidge had experienced MHL play. Experienced acquisitions and a splash of rookie energy meshed over time to make this team a formidable opponent offensively. On paper, it all looks good, and new goals are set. Let’s get it done. Round one opens in Truro, Sunday, March 19. Bearcat-of-the-week honours went to captain Brendan Bays. Credit him for his effort in bringing this group together, by doing his job in the defensive zone and contributing 52 points in the offensive zone.