TRURO – The Truro Bearcats look for a strong start Wednesday in Game 1 of the Fred Page Cup Eastern Canadian junior A hockey championship.
© Joey Smith – Truro Daily News
Ryan Moore, left, and Tyler Morrison are two of 10 Truro Bearcats playing this week in their second straight Fred Page Cup Eastern Canadian junior A hockey championship.
The Bearcats meet the Quebec champion Granby Inouk at 5 p.m. in the opening game of the four-team event in St. Jerome, Que.
“We know our competition’s good,” said Bearcats coach Shawn Evans. “I don’t think you can change your game at this point, but your road’s a little bit easier if you win your first game. If you don’t, you’re kind of chasing your tail and things are kind of out of your hands.”
The Bearcats enter the tournament as defending champions after winning the 2013 title on home ice. Twelve members of that championship squad are returning this year.
“I don’t think experience hurts you,” Evans said. “It’s up to the players because I’ve had teams go before, and I’ve been guilty of it too, that we're just glad to be there. And I had the team like last year that was desperate to win and I’m hoping we’re the team like last year in that respect.”
The Bearcats are scorching hot entering the Fred Page Cup. After winning the President’s Trophy as Maritime Hockey League regular-season champs, the Bearcats blew through the playoffs with a 12-2 record to capture the Kent Cup.
“Nobody is more surprised than me,” Evans said of his team’s success this season. “We worked on mental toughness and the small details of the game. And to me that’s what it’s all about. Yeah, you need the talent and we have it, but it’s the details of the game and when these guys feel like doing that they’re tough to play against.”
The Bearcats meet host St. Jerome Panthers on Thursday at 8:30 p.m. and finish preliminary play on Friday against Central Canada champion Carleton Place Canadians at 8:30 p.m.
The winner of the Fred Page Cup will advance to the RBC Cup national championship May 10 to 18 in Vernon, B.C.