Bearcat Banter – Gerry Hale
The plan going into the weekend was simple - win your games and you will gain on somebody.
By taking both encounters, the Bearcats found themselves second in the Eastlink Division with a few points spread on the Yarmouth Mariners and Amherst Ramblers. They also found themselves in the top 20 national rankings.
The Bearcats come into this week 3-1 for December with two tough games leading into the Christmas break. The games are very meaningful for all three teams.
The Bearcats had a great start in Dieppe last Friday, scoring in the opening minute and setting the tone against a good, quick squad of Commandos.
Truro's deep forecheck, an obvious strength when all are committed to it, kept the speedsters at bay and nullified the speed game.
The only flaw in the Bearcat game were back-to-back needless second period penalties deep in the Dieppe zone. Killing those took the momentum away, but Truro reclaimed it for the third period, and the win.
Saturday, the Bearcats shut out the visiting Bridgewater Lumberjacks. Truro improved its game against them by reducing lapses when possessing a healthy lead.
By times this year, Truro could be accused of relaxing with a lead. That has been addressed and the lesson has been reinforced. Besides, working for your goaltender can reap rewards.
Tonight, the Bearcats are off to Pictou County to face the other nationally ranked team, the Weeks Crushers. Neither team requires extrinsic motivation for this matchup.
Both teams know what to expect and both will play to their strengths. The Crushers have three dangerous attacking units capable of inflicting damage off the rush.
Truro has to apply its tenacious forecheck and manage the puck as a team. In that mode, the Bearcats can be tough to play against.
Saturday, the Bearcats wrap up their pre-Christmas schedule in Amherst. The Ramblers were embarrassed in their last head-to-head matchup so they'll be ready.
Rivalries involving Truro, Pictou County and Amherst go deep into the last century. Fans in all three communities expect the compete level to be at its highest.
A look at the post-Christmas schedule indicates Bearcat fans will have their chance to see the rivalries unfold at the RECC.
This week's games, like all weeks, are important to all. They're another opportunity to gain on somebody.
The Bearcat team and organization wish all a Merry Christmas and safe, happy holiday.
Gerry Hale is media relations co-ordinator for the Truro Jr. A Bearcats hockey team.