Truro happy with play during pre-Christmas stretch
TRURO - The Christmas break started a little earlier than expected for the Truro Bearcats.
Break starts early for Cats
The Bearcats' (19-8-0-2) final tilt of 2013, which was set to be played Saturday in Amherst against the Ramblers (18-10-0-1), was postponed due to poor road conditions thanks to freezing rain which blanketed the region.
"We'll just have to play it in the second half and that's all you can really do," Bearcats coach Shawn Evans said Sunday.
The team doesn't return to the ice until Dec. 29 and won't be back in action until Jan. 2 when it hosts the Woodstock Slammers (14-14-2-1) at 7 p.m. at RECC.
Although the postponement of Saturday's tilt was a disappointment for the team, the Bearcats are beaming about how their season has gone to date. Truro enters the break in second spot in the EastLink Division, eight points behind the league-leading Pictou County Crushers (22-4-0-4). Truro is tied for second overall with the Dieppe Commandos (19-6-2-0), while the third-place Yarmouth Mariners (19-9-1-0) sit just one point behind the Bearcats. Truro has won seven of its past 11 games heading into the break.
"I like how we've played over the past month," Evans said. "We didn't win them all but the guys are coming around as a team and starting to understand what it takes to be successful."
Evans said the key to Truro's success has been it's willingness to use its strengths.
"We're not a big physical team," he said. "We've got speed and when we get on the forecheck and take the puck down low we're tough to play against and at the end of the day, that's what we want to be."
And the Bearcats are excited about what the new year holds in store. Truro will play 14 times in the friendly confines of the RECC with just nine games scheduled on the road. The Bearcats have also completed their major road trips to Northern New Brunswick for the season.
"We hoping those things favour us in the second half," Evans said.
"Our expectations are high every year, but I'm quite pleased to be coming off of an RBC Cup with a younger team and being right in the mix."
But that doesn't mean Evans won't tinker with his lineup. Junior A teams have until Jan. 10 to finalize their rosters and Evans, also Truro's general manager, said he has room to make some moves.
"There is some space to make some decisions after the holidays if the right opportunity presents itself," he said.
On Twitter: @tdnmatt