Preseason hockey can be a sign of things to come.
If that's the case, Truro Bearcats fans can look forward to an interesting season, especially featuring matchups with old rivals and there are plenty of those in the Bent Division.
The Bearcats came away the winner in both exhibition matches with the Pictou County Crushers. Nothing was easy. From the get-go, it was obvious there was no love lost between them, and no extra motivation was required to get the competitive juices flowing.
Coaches, from both benches, were quick to learn about their prospects and those on the opposite side of the rink. That was the goal.
The Bearcats experienced playing with a lead, then squandering it. They also experienced playing with a deficit, then completing a comeback. Teammates also had the chance to stick up for each other.
The Bearcats learned regulation isn't always enough time. An overtime win and a shootout victory are great, if they're in your favour.
Truro is using the week to tighten up its game. Structure takes time but pays huge dividends down the road.
This weekend, Truro plays a home-and-home set with the Amherst Ramblers. The Bearcats are in Amherst Saturday at 7 p.m. and back at Colchester Legion Stadium, Sunday at 7 p.m. Fans recognize, these games as kindling for another hot rivalry.
Management is currently carrying three goalies, six defencemen and sixteen forwards. Obviously, decisions are forthcoming.
Most coaches in the Maritime Junior Hockey League wear the general manager's hat as well. While they may be happy with what's happened to date and realize decisions have to be made, most are still searching. While key players may be out there, getting them to come, or having them available from major junior camps, or having room for them, combine to make things interesting.
For sure, the Truro Bearcats don't want a revolving door. They want their team put together sooner rather than later.
Bearcats followers are reminded season passes are available ($195 adult, $145 student/senior, $50 reserved seat). Last year's ticket holders may retain their seat at the stadium, then pick their seat when the Civic Center nears opening.
In the meantime, catch Sunday's home game with the Ramblers.
Gerry Hale is media relations co-ordinator for the Truro Bearcats junior A hockey club