Truro to play Yarmouth in Maurice Bent semifinal
TRURO – A trio of young defencemen have stepped up their play and helped the Truro Bearcats clinch home-ice advantage for the first round of the playoffs.
Coach Shawn Evans said the team has played stellar defensively, particularly in the past month when the Bearcats have been without their captain and all-star defenceman Evan Watts, who has been sidelined with an upper body injury.
“You have to be really impressed with (Cal) Gloade and Ryan Moore,” Evans said Sunday of the 17-year-old blueliners. “The best thing about them is they’re willing to be coached and they listen. Any success we’re going to have from here on in, they’re going to be a big part of it.”
Evans said Andrew Kennedy has also played regularly and “earned his stripes” in Watts’s absence. He added the players, under assistant coach Troy Fougere, are playing key roles for the team.
“They’re not spare minutes. They’re playing against other team’s top players. They’re good.”
Truro ended the regular season Saturday with a 5-1 victory over the Yarmouth Mariners. The two teams will play each other in the opening round of the playoffs, but a schedule had not been finalized on Sunday. The series is expected to start this weekend in Truro.
Stephen Horyl and Brett Frazee led the Bearcats Saturday night with a goal and two assists each in front of 835 fans.
Jordan Mock added a goal and a helper while Travis Moore and Jordan Cox also found the back of the net.
Gloade and Colin MacKinnon each picked up assists while Spencer Scott made 20 saves for the win. Truro led 2-0 after 40 minutes of play and sealed the game with three goals in the third period.
“It was nice to see for the players to get some goals. That’s certainly been a struggle for us down the stretch here,” Evans said.
• Horyl finished as the team’s top point getter during the regular season with 53 points (23 goals and 30 assists) in 42 games.
• Moore led the Cats in goals with 25 while Frazee had the most assists with 33. Dakota Johnson spent the most time in the penalty box, amassing 122 penalty minutes.
• Five Bearcats played all 52 games this season. They were Jordan Burke, Moore, Donnie Churchill, Kendall MacInnis and Mock. Burke actually played a total of 53 games between Truro and Amherst.
• Watts is a question mark for the opening game of the playoffs. Stephen Walker (upper body) and Dylan McGuigan (lower body) both missed Saturday’s game but are expected to be ready for Game 1 of the playoffs.
• The Bearcats tandem of Rafuse and Scott finished with the fewest goals allowed (128) during the regular season and laid claim to the Young-Knickle award. It is the sixth year in a row the Bearcats have earned the award. Rafuse had a 2.65 goals-against average and a 19-12 record while rookie Spencer Scott had a 2.01 average with a 9-7-5 record. Both goalies had a pair of shutouts.
Maurice Bent Division
Pictou Co. vs. winner of mini-series
Truro vs. Yarmouth
Bridgewater vs. Metro
Roger Meek Division
Woodstock vs. Campbellton
Miramichi vs. Summerside