By Lyle Carter
The highly competitive team being iced by the Truro Bearcats this season has definitely not gone unnoticed in local hockey circles.
They have 10 wins and a shootout loss, sit second in the Maritime Junior Hockey League's Eastlink Division, and are ranked as the second best team in Canadian junior A hockey circles.
And one of the key pieces of the puzzle is standout defenceman Adam Guy, who has two goals and three assists in Truro's first 11 games.
"It's pretty incredible the kind of team we've been building since the start of training camp," said Guy, a 20-year-old Corner Brook, Nfld., native. "Everyone gels well together, we're all very comfortable with each other. It's just great to be part of this Bearcats team. I feel we definitely have great chemistry and a lot of potential."
Guy suited up with the Dieppe Commandos for the past two seasons and was traded to the Bearcats in early September.
"I was happy and excited to be coming to Truro," he said. "Alex Dalley, a friend of mine, had told me a lot of good things about the two years he had played for the Bearcats."
"I arrived late in training camp. Travis Moore had already telephoned me and welcomed me to the team. But, when I got here, all the players came up to me and introduced themselves. It was just great from day one."
The Bearcats have two home games this weekend. Tonight, at 7.30 p.m., they host the Bridgewater Lumberjacks (4-10-0-0 entering last night's play). Tomorrow night, at 7 p.m., Jim Bottomley's Amherst Ramblers (8-2-2-0 prior to last night) will be the visitors.
"We'd obviously like to win both games," said the five-foot-10, 185-pound Guy. "But, as coach (Shawn) Evans and the coaching staff tell us, we have to take it a period at a time. We know we have to have the mindset and bring our A-game every night regardless of which team we‘re playing. We have to be up for every shift we play."
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It may only be a two-game winning streak but the Brookfield Elks (3-5-0-0) of the Nova Scotia Junior Hockey League will take it.
"I feel we're just starting to hit our stride," rookie centre James Shapleigh said. "The two wins against Antigonish and Cumberland has brought us together even closer as a team."
Shapleigh, 18, of Truro, played the past three seasons with Cobequid Cougars. After an amazing 2011-12 season, in which he had more then 100 points, Shapleigh leads the Elks in scoring with seven goals and two assists.
"We have a great line with Nick Carroll on left wing and Connor Baker on the right side," Shapleigh said. "We have a good feel for where the other guy is at any given time."
Carroll, 21, of Truro, has five goals and an assist to date. He played for the Mount Pearl Blades (Newfoundland junior B) before joining the Elks last December.
"We're gaining confidence as we go along," Carroll said. "I feel the talent's there. I definitely think we can be a contending team."
Coach Kevin Harvey described this season's team as being close-knit and dedicated.
"This is the first battle when building a hockey team," Harvey said. "We have strong leadership in the dressing room and this young team has good chemistry."
The Elks host to the Strait Pirates (7-1-0-0) at the Don Henderson Memorial Sportsplex in Brookfield Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m.
Lyle Carter's sports column appears every Saturday in the Truro Daily News. If you have a story idea, contact him at 673-2857.