TRURO – The Truro MU Rhino Renovations Bearcats won’t get to show off their shiny new arena when they host the Atlantic minor midget hockey championship next month.
With an opening date for the RECC up in the air until recently, the team was forced to go with the tested and true Colchester Legion Stadium to host the event, which is slated for March 21 to 24.
It would be natural for the team to feel disappointed for missing the chance to host provincial champions from Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, P.E.I. and Newfoundland in the $48-million building, but that’s not the vibe in the dressing room at all.
“They started out on that ice and that’s where they’ll finish their minor hockey careers,” Bearcats coach Phil Lynds said of his 10 graduating players. “We know the boards, the ice, the glass, so it’s definitely an advantage. If we were playing in the new rink, we wouldn’t have that.”
The event’s organizing committee needed to finalize a location for the tournament by Feb.1 in order to move ahead with planning. With the future of the RECC still up in the air at that point, organizers decided against using the new arena and risk further construction delays affecting the tournament.
“If we didn’t have ice it would have looked very poorly on us, especially since we’ve been planning this for more than a year,” Jeff Lynds, a member of the committee, said.
Jeff said stadium manager Joel Dawe was more than accommodating and added RECC manager Jim Lambert was also helpful in keeping the committee updated on the building’s progress.
“Joel was fantastic and really stepped up,” Jeff said.
“We won’t have the glitz and glamour of the new centre, but we are seeing it as a positive.”