Bearcats hungry for junior A league title
TRURO - History is on the side of the Truro Bearcats.
Truro Bearcats forward Brandon Bazinet tries to get the puck past goaltender Jacob Fancy during practice Sunday at Colchester Legion Stadium. The Bearcats open the Kent Cup final Tuesday at 7 p.m. at RECC. Matthew Veno - Truro Daily News
The Hubtown squad comes into the Kent Cup final against the Dieppe Commandos perfect thus far in the Maritime Junior Hockey League postseason after sweeping both the Valley Wildcats and Pictou County Crushers.
The last time that happened was 2006-07, which also happens to be the last time the Bearcats won the league title in six games over the Summerside Western Capitals. One more interesting fact - the victory sent the Bearcats to the Fred Page Cup Eastern Canadian Championship in Saint Jerome, Que, where this year's event will also be held.
No offence to history, but the Bearcats aren't relying on it to nail down the club's third league title when Game 1 kicks off the best-of-seven affair Tuesday at 7 p.m. at RECC.
"No, it's a whole new year this year and we just want to go out and do our thing and win this series," Bearcats defenceman David Mosher said following Sunday's practice at Colchester Legion Stadium, which has served as the Bearcats' den for the past week while the Colchester County Home Show occupies the RECC.
There is no shortage of motivation for the Bearcats. In spite of winning the Fred Page title last year on home ice, the Bearcats needed to use the host berth to get into the event after falling in five games to Summerside in the league final. It was the only thing on Truro's list left unchecked and the returnees from that 2012-13 club want to correct things this time around.
"It would mean a lot to win the league title," Mosher, a 20-year-old native of Fall River, said.
So how do they go about doing that? Bearcats head coach Shawn Evans said it's a matter of his team playing to its strengths, just as it's done thus far in the postseason and on the 19-for-22 run Truro went on to finish the regular season atop the league table.
"We're going to try to use the whole bench and we ant to come after you," Evans said. "A lot of teams like to sit back in the neutral zone and I'm not interested in that at all. I don't think that suits our team. We want to take care of the puck and use our speed to pressure the puck."
The Bearcats will be boosted by the return of forward Mitchell Robillard. The 20-year-old St. Eustache, Que., native has been out since Jan. 18 after breaking his wrist and suffering tendon damage. He was tied for third on the team in scoring with 36 points (16G, 20A) in 33 games at the time of the injury.
"It's great for us to have him back and it's great for him," Evans said. "It'll be good to have his leadership and experience back in the dressing room. He's worked hard to get the opportunity to get back in the lineup."
Even so, the Bearcats know they're going to be in for a fight. The two sides battled to a 2-2 draw in the regular season series and the Commandos are riding a wave of confidence after knocking off the Miramichi Timberwolves, who finished 16 points ahead of Dieppe in the regular -season standings.
"They're a good team," Mosher said. "So we jut have to focus on our game and see how it turns out."
On Twitter: @tdnmatt
FLAG: FINAL SHOWDOWN
Following is the schedule for the Kent Cup final between the Truro Bearcats and Dieppe Commandos:
Game 1: Tuesday at RECC, 7 p.m.
Game 2: Thursday in Dieppe, 7:30 p.m.
Game 3: Saturday at RECC, 7 p.m.
Game 4: Apr. 21 in Dieppe, 7:30 p.m.
Game 5: Apr. 22 at RECC, 7 p.m.
Game 6: Apr. 24 in Dieppe, 7:30 p.m.
Game 7: Apr. 26 at RECC, 7 p.m.
Following are this season's results between the Truro Bearcats and Dieppe Commandos:
Season series tied 2-2
Oct. 17 - Truro 2, Dieppe 4
Dec. 13 - Truro 4, Dieppe 2
Jan. 25 - Truro 3, Dieppe 4
Feb. 15 - Truro 5, Dieppe 2