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EastLink Division race tightens

By Gerry Hale

Just when it appeared the logjam atop the Eastlink Division standings couldn't get tighter, it did.

Coming into this week, the Bearcats were in the second spot, one point behind the Pictou County Crushers, and one ahead of the Amherst Ramblers and Yarmouth Mariners.

From now on, it's like the playoffs have started. There's little margin for error with every game holding a pile of significance.

The target on the Bearcats' back just got bigger Monday when the team was named to the #17 spot on the CJHL Top 20 rankings. It feels good, though.

The Bearcats put themselves in a strong position with weekend victories over two of the upper echelon Eastlink teams in Pictou County and Amherst. They also possess a game-in-hand edge.

Saturday, the Bearcats wanted a big win and they got it by dumping the Crushers. The Bearcats were the hungrier team and persisted until victory was theirs. While Truro controlled much of the play, finding the back of the net was difficult in the early going. The Crushers attempt to push back in the third frame was obvious but, while the Bearcats bent, they didn't break.

In the end, Truro's speed and relentless forecheck were determining factors.

Against the Ramblers, Sunday, the Bearcats went with the same song sheet but against a different kind of team. A great start garnered little result early on but Truro eventually found its way to a 4-2 win.

This was a grinder's delight with a high compete level from both benches. These combatants will be back at it on Sunday at 4 p.m. in Amherst.

Truro, with three wins in as many games with Amherst, will face a Ramblers squad looking to turn those stats around.

Before that, the Bearcats have business to address in Bridgewater on Friday, and a home date with Deippe on Saturday.

The big news out of Bridgewater is the naming of the franchise's third head coach of the season. Here's hoping he can get the Lumberjacks moving in the right direction.

Dieppe comes to the RECC Saturday at 7 p.m. with numbers very similar to Truro's. The teams have split their two meetings in Dieppe.

The Commandos are high in speed and skill and like to control the puck. Sounds familiar, doesn't it?

Expect Truro to challenge early to let the visitors know playing in Truro won't be an easy ride.

The Bearcats are an excited group and the product is solid. Come see for yourself.

TAGLINE: Gerry Hale is media relations co-ordinator for the Truro Bearcats junior A hockey club

Organizations: Eastlink Division

Geographic location: Pictou County, Amherst, Bridgewater Dieppe

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