Evans happy with deals to bolster Bearcats

Staff ~ The Truro Daily News
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TRURO - Sunday was a day to relax for Bearcats general manager and head coach Shawn Evans.

Truro Bearcats

Evans was a busy man leading up to the Maritime Junior Hockey League's trade deadline on Friday, acquiring forward Brandon Boutilier and goaltender Chris Festarini, a pair of 20-year-olds he feels will help his team make a long postseason run this spring.

"We wanted to get a couple 20-year-olds who brought some leadership and experience to the team on the ice and in the room," Evans said. "We feel we accomplished that without mortgaging the future."

Boutilier, a Hackett's Cove native, was a late Friday acquisition from the Evans made from the Valley Wildcats by sending forwards Jean-Marc Evans-Renaud and Alex Hazlehurst the other way.

Boutilier, who has been serving as captain for Valley this season, has nine points (3G, 6A) in 25 games this season.

"I've coached against Boutilier for four years," Evans said. "His style is much like Phil Fife, tough to play against, and I think he fits in well here."

Evans said Boutilier brings a dogged work ethic to the table, can kill penalties, play against the opposition's top lines and isn't afraod to go to the dirty areas to battle for the puck.

"I think he's going to help us be better," Evans said.

But Evans wasn't pleased to see Evans-Renaud leave the Bearcats dressing room. The younger brother of last year's standout Zach Evans-Renaud, the 17-year-old St. Peter's Bay, P.E.I., native collected nine points (5G, 4A) in 29 games.

"At the deadline, that's basically the price you pay," Evans said. "Jean-Marc is going to be a good player in this league and we certainly wish him well."

Hazlehurst hasn't suited up with the Bearcats this season after asking for a trade over the summer. The 19-year-old Bedford resident was sidelined with a concussion throughout his rookie postseason last year, also missing the Fred Page and Royal Bank Cups after an 18-point campaign in 20 regular-season games.

Evans doesn't typically like to trade his young talent, but felt with the prospects in the system he could afford to pull the trigger on the Boutilier deal.

The trade came a day after the Bearcats picked up Festarini from Niagara of the OHL for future considerations.

Festarini has played parts of the past four-and-a-half seasons in the OHL with Niagara and Erie, during which time he has posted a record of 50-44-7 with five shutouts.

The Bearcats were slated to host the Woodstock Slammers Saturday, however, the game was postponed due to the impending heavy rain a strong winds in the forecast. A make-up date has not yet been announced.

The Bearcats (22-8-0-2) are back in action Saturday when they host the league-leading Pictou County Crushers (23-6-0-4) at 7 p.m. at RECC.

sports@trurodaily.com

On Twitter: @tdnmatt

Organizations: Maritime Junior Hockey League, Fred Page and Royal Bank Cups

Geographic location: Cove, OHL, Pictou County

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