By Lyle Carter
What Colby Lanceleve lacks in size, he certainly makes up for in determination.
Truro Bearcats forward Colby Lanceleve is a valuable member of the Truro Bearcats junior A hockey club.
Lanceleve, five-foot-eight, 160 pounds, has become a fan-favourite for his hustle and work ethic during a three-year tenure with the Truro Bearcats of the Maritime Junior Hockey League.
"He puts out every shift," a local fan said recently. "Colby is exciting to watch. He always gives it a full effort."
Born in Inverness, Lanceleve lived in such places as Lake Echo before his family moved to Stewiacke in the late 1990s.
"Hockey has always been there," Lanceleve, 19, said. "Even when I was three years of age living in Lake Echo my dad would make a small backyard rink for me to play on."
Lanceleve played his first organized hockey in novice and atom in the South Colchester Minor Hockey Association, followed by playing both AAA peewee and AAA bantam in Truro.
Two seasons in the Nova Scotia Major Midget Hockey League with Pictou County Weeks proved to be a stepping stone to junior A ranks.
"My first season with the Bearcats was in 2011-2012," Lanceleve said. "I kind of figured out that I didn't have a lot of size coming into the league. I was always taught to work hard and to put out every shift. So, this is what I try to do, skate hard and play a 200-foot game."
An outstanding defensive forward, Lanceleve's offensive production has also shown a steady improvement.
After recording nine goals and seven assists his rookie season in 2011-12, Lanceleve potted 11 goals and 14 assists last season. This season, he has already lit the red light 11 times while adding 14 assists.
Arch rivals Pictou County Weeks Crushers visit the Bearcats tonight at 7.30 p.m. at the Rath Eastlink Community Centre, while the Amherst Ramblers are in town Sunday afternoon for a 2 p.m. clash.
"This is a big weekend for our club for sure," Lanceleve said. "Both of these teams coming in are big rivals. We're all so close in the Eastlink Division standings. Our players are all looking forward to these weekend games."
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The Bearcats makeup also received praise from the hustling forward.
"We have a real good core group," Lanceleve said. "I think we all have a lot of confidence in our club. We have a pretty close-knit group of guys. Most of us have been here since the first of the year. The chemistry is real good."
Aside from talking about the Bearcats, Lanceleve discussed his family's strong bond to hockey.
His father Lou coaches the Truro Bearcats major bantam team, which his younger brother Carson plays on. Another brother, Reid, plays midget hockey in South Colchester and also referees hockey.
Colby said their hockey endevours receive strong support from mother Marie.
Lanceleve is very familiar with a former Bearcats player, who now suits up with the NHL's Pittsburgh Penguins.
"Everyone kind of knows Zach Sill," Lanceleve said. "I was fortunate during the summer of 2010 when we trained together at the YMCA in New Glasgow. I'm really happy and excited to see Zach getting to play with Pittsburgh. He's certainly done well. It's a lot of fun watching Zach play in the NHL."
Lanceleve, who is taking business courses at Dalhousie Agricultural Campus, is an outstanding third baseman in fastpitch softball during the summer. In 2013, he played for the Nova Scotia under-21 team at the Canadian championship in Saskatoon.
Lyle Carter's sports column appears every Saturday in the Truro Daily News. If you have a story idea, contact him at 673-2857.