Brookfield starts schedule tonight in Glace Bay
BROOKFIELD - Hughie Matheson can't wait to get the Nova Scotia Junior Hockey League season underway.
The 73-year-old Brookfield resident and head coach of the Brookfield junior B Elks wants to see how his squad stacks up against the circuit's 10 other teams.
They'll find out tonight when they travel to Glace Bay to take on the Miners at 7:30 p.m.
"It'll be nice to get going," Matheson said. "We'll get to see what we're made of because that's one of the hardest places to come out of with a win."
Brookfield continues its campaign Monday in Sackville against the Blazers and hosts the Cumberland County Blues Oct. 1 in its home opener at Don Henderson Memorial Sportsplex.
The Elks have some question marks surrounding their roster after falling in seven games to Sackville in the Fred Fox Division final last spring. Brookfield posted a 19-12-1-2 record to finish second in the division in the regular season, just one point behind the Blazers.
But much of the forward lineup from last year's team is gone, leaving Matheson with three lines of newcomers to search through for a winning combination. That's what he did in three preseason games, which saw the Elks go winless.
"Up front is pretty much brand new," he said. "We've got some work to do there. But we've got good speed and I think the ability is there. We have enough talent to work with anyway."
The Elks are bristling with talent on the back end. Goaltender Spencer Scott returns in the crease, while his younger brother Mitchel, who skated with the Truro Bearcats junior A squad last season, will be patrolling the blueline. The combination has Matheson excited.
"That's a big piece of our team," Matheson said. "Spencer is the best goaltender in the league and Mitchel can be the best defenceman, so it certainly gives us something to build on."
Veteran Lucas Dawe is also returning to his post on the blueline and Matheson is excited by promising newcomer Kaden Augustine, who tried to crack the Bearcats lineup earlier this month.
But no matter what their player situation is, Matheson said it's going to take effort to be successful this season.
"It's going to take hard work," he said. "If the guys work within our system I think we can be competitive."
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