Truro heads to Dieppe looking to extend lead in Kent Cup final
TRURO – Playing on a larger ice surface may require the Truro Bearcats to tweak their game just a tad, but don’t expect any major changes in Game 2 of their Maritime Junior Hockey League final series Thursday.
Bearcats vs. Commandos – MHL Kent Cup final.
The Bearcats visit the Dieppe Commandos for 7:30 p.m. start at the Olympic-sized Arthur J. LeBlanc Centre.
“I know on the big ice surface you can’t over play, you can’t run at people,” said Bearcats coach Shawn Evans. “Our mantra all year has been take care of the house, keep people to the outside. It doesn’t change in that rink. In fact, it may be more important.
“Basically, the defence have a little more space to cover and we try and give them guidelines on what their positioning is.”
The Bearcats hold a 1-0 series lead in the best-of-seven Kent Cup final after edging the Commandos 2-1 in Game 1 on Tuesday in Truro.
The Commandos look to hold serve Thursday on home ice where they have won five of six playoff games.
“We have to use our ice (to our advantage), because it’s a big ice and they’re not used to it and we are, so we have to use our speed,” Commandos forward Joel Blanchard said after the Game 1 loss.
The Bearcats played a solid game defensively in the opener and used goals from Phillip Fife and Daniel Perigo and a 31-save effort from Chris Festarini to come away with victory.
While neither team had a distinct advantage in territorial play, the Bearcats created far more scoring chances throughout the contest.
Evans felt puck management from his forwards wasn’t as good as it was in previous post-season games, and they will need to do a better job in that area to achieve success in the series.
“I thought that we won Game 1 with heart and determination,” he said. “At the end of the day we’re in the Kent Cup final, it’s not style points that count, it’s wins. So any way we can find a way to win, we’ll take it.
“But I’d like to see us be a little smarter with the puck and that starts up front.”
No changes are expected to Truro’s lineup tonight, however, Evans said he plans to insert gritty, hard-working forward Denver Lynds into the lineup soon.
“I plan to at some point unleash him in this series,” Evans said. “Not sure if it will be (Thursday) or Game 3, but he’s healthy and ready to go.”