TRURO - Saturday's date with the Pictou County Crushers is just like any other for the Truro Bearcats.
Bearcats vs. Crushers – Oct. 5.
The Hubtown squad (4-0-0-1) will be concentrating on playing hockey between the whistles only and going after two points in their Maritime Junior Hockey League tilt at 7 p.m. at RECC.
"I think it's just going to be two teams trying to win an important early-season game," Bearcats captain Philip Fife said. "We're just going to come out and play like we always do."
It's the first meeting between the two teams since Fife was accused last month of taunting Crushers forward Garrett Holmes, who has Tourette syndrome, in a preseason tilt. The game, which was in the latter stages, instantly turned into a fight-fest, with several skirmishes on the ice in the final minutes and heated words exchanged between the benches. Truro won the game 3-1.
The Maritime Junior Hockey League reviewed the incident, but could find no video evidence to warrant any discipline. But that didn't stop fans from voicing their opinions, lighting up Internet sites and message boards. The Crushers' executive was also quoted several times in The News about how upset the team was over the incident. The teams agreed to cancel a second exhibition match between the two, which was set for two days later, citing safety of the players on both sides.
But Bearcats head coach and general manager Shawn Evans said his team has moved on from the incident and left it in the past, and he hopes the Crushers have as well.
"We know they've got a good team and their goals are very lofty this season," Evans said. "We just have to make sure we have a good start to give ourselves an opportunity to be successful. Anything else, we're not interested in."
The Bearcats come into the contest on the heels of a two-week break. Truro was red hot prior to the layoff, winning four consecutive games to vault themselves near the top of the EastLink Division standings.
Truro's tilt last Saturday against the Campbellton Tigers was postponed due to the official opening ceremonies at RECC.
The Crushers (6-0-0-1), meanwhile, winners of their past four games, have also been quick out of the gate and always bring their best for the Bearcats no matter the situation.
Evans said he hopes fans fill RECC to see a pair of powerhouse teams compete, not in hopes of seeing a fist-to-face affair.
"It's always a big game against Pictou County," Evans said. "We both want to win. I'm sure they would like to win and we certainly want to win."
Fife said to do that, his team can't afford to take any shifts off and needs to make sure all the rust is shaken off as quickly as possible.
"We all just have to buy into the system we've been working on the past couple weeks, and if we do that we should be fine," he said.
A call to Crushers head coach and general manager Jason Malone was not returned.
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