Drew McNutt agrees his Brookfield Elks are hooked up in a very close Nova Scotia Junior Hockey League playoff series with the Bay Ducks.
Playing before the largest crowd of the season at the Sportsplex in Brookfield Tuesday night, an estimated 500 people watched the Ducks win the third game of the best-of-seven series 3-2. The Elks lead the round 2-1 with Game 4 to be played tonight in St. Margaret’s Bay.
“We’re seeing a lot of positives with the boys,” McNutt, a 20-year-old Pleasant Valley resident said. “We’re all bonding and we’re all well focused on the main goal at hand, this series against the Bay Ducks. For the most part I think our hockey team is playing pretty well. We’re playing good defensively and if we can put the puck in the net a little more, we’ll be OK.”
The six-foot-one, 170-pound second-year Elks forward said fan support for the team of late has been uplifting.
“We’re definitely noticing the larger numbers of fans coming out to the games,” he said. “It makes us more motivated and these Brookfield fans are really passionate. This is a great place to be playing junior hockey.”
A tireless skater with a good work ethic, McNutt began playing organized hockey at age 4 under the South Colchester Minor Hockey Association. He played up through the midget ranks before breaking into the Elks lineup.
A graduate of South Colchester Academy, McNutt was an outstanding all-around athlete, excelling in soccer, volleyball, track and field, softball and badminton during his school years.
“My taking part in a number of sports over the years definitely inspired me to do something with recreation,” McNutt said. “My goal is to work with kids and help see them become more active. I’ve always been interested in the outdoors and as a lot of kids don’t know how to play today, my goal would be to see them become more creative.”
McNutt is in the first year of a two-year recreation course at the Nova Scotia Community College in Truro.
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There’s a big junior A hockey game on tonight at the new Rath Eastlink Community Centre (RECC) in Truro. Just ask Lily and Sam Currie of Masstown.
“It’s going to be exciting watching hockey in the new centre Saturday night,” 12-year-old Lily said. “I can’t wait to get there. It’s going to be nice to sit in those new seats. I’m hoping more fans come to the games now to watch the Truro Bearcats play. The new facility should help the team.”
Sam, 15, was also excited as he looked ahead to the Bearcats’ first game at RECC tonight against the Metro Shipbuilders.
“It’s going to be a more comfortable building overall,” Sam said. “Down the road I think it will be nice to be able to say that I was in attendance for the Bearcats’ first game ever at the new centre. I know I’ll enjoy and remember the experience.”
Lily said she has been attending Bearcats games since she was five.
“I find junior A hockey fast and exciting,” Lily said. “I think the Bearcats are an exciting team to watch.”
A goaltender with the Colchester Cyclones peewee AA team in Debert, Lily knows some of the Bearcats personally.
“I attend goaltender clinics run by Bearcats goaltender coach Mike Lumsden,” she said. “Jacob Fancy, one of the Bearcats goaltenders, helps me a lot with goaltending basics. I actually like him a lot.”
This is the eighth year Sam has attended Bearcats games.
“My grandparents (Bruce and Mary Currie) have been taking me to the Colchester Legion Stadium all these years,” Sam said. “As I’m a referee in minor hockey, I especially enjoy watching the game from a referee’s perspective.”
Besides being both a minor hockey referee and a linesman, Sam plays hockey for West Colchester Cobras midget C team in Debert.
A capacity crowd is expected for tonight’s first game in the new, and much talked about, community centre.
Lyle Carter’s sports column appears every Saturday in the Truro Daily News.
If you have a story idea, contact him at 673-2857.