TRURO – As a four-year member of the Truro Bearcats, Cal Gloade couldn’t imagine playing junior hockey anywhere else.
“Not at all,” said Gloade, a 20-year-old defenceman from Millbrook. “I’m happy here, I just love it, especially being at home.”
Gloade is one of six players on the team from Colchester County who helped guide the Bearcats to the Kent Cup Maritime league championship last week.
The Bearcats are off to Saint-Jerome, Que., this week for the Fred Page Cup Eastern Canadian championship, which begins Wednesday.
“I’m really excited,” said Mitchell Scott, a 19-year-old blueliner from Bible Hill. “It’s a good opportunity and the boys are pumped for it.”
Other local players include Daniel Perigo (Truro), Jeff Hanes (Truro), Denver Lynds (Debert) and Colby Lanceleve (Stewiacke).
“They’re not kids that we generally trade away,” Bearcats coach Shawn Evans said of area players. “They’re the core group of the team and the core group is always the glue of your club. And for them to be part of that core, I’d say they’ve done the local community well.”
Perigo, a third-year forward, was a fan of the local junior A team long before he was a member of it and recalls attending Saturday night home games at the Colchester Legion Stadium while growing up.
“I was always at the games,” said Perigo, 19. “I don’t think I missed too many unless it was for my own hockey. I definitely looked up to the Bearcats growing up.”
Lynds also attended games when he was younger and admired former Bearcats.
“It’s always something I looked up to when I was little,” said the 18-year-old Grade 12 student at CEC. “I’d always come to the games all the time, look up to Trav (former captain Travis Moore) and all the guys that were local too because you knew them, right. They were always around.”
Hanes, a second-year forward, said playing for his hometown club is great for multiple reasons.
“I think it’s good just because all the fans recognize you, and watching this team growing up, it feels good playing for them.
“It’s central, too, so none of your road trips are too long like some of the other teams.”
Lanceleve, 19, is a third-year forward who appreciates his time with the Bearcats.
“It means a lot to play here and it means a lot to wear the jersey and win here, for sure.
“Right from ownership, to (players), to the coaches, it all just makes for a good place to play and really good surroundings.”
Following is what coach Evans had to say about each Colchester County player:
Cal Gloade: “I’m gonna miss Cal when it’s all said and done. Him and Ryan Moore have always had a back seat to the guys that we bring in to play defence, but Cal’s been the glue for four years – right defence, left defence, kill penalties, throw him out on the PP, a good smart D.”
Mitchell Scott: “He’s played really well. He looks like the Mitchell that played his last year over in Pictou in midget AAA. He looks like that player again with some grit to him.”
Daniel Perigo: “Perigo is a 200-foot (player), mean and nasty and can do a little bit of everything. If I give him more offensive opportunities he would probably produce more.”
Denver Lynds: “Denver’s potential is pretty high. I don’t even know if Denver knows what he’s capable of. He gives us energy and the only unfair thing sometimes to Denver is he gets penalties sometimes for hitting too hard.”
Jeff Hanes: “I’ve had him more in a grinding role this year and I think down the road he’ll have more to offer than that. But he’s filled in at centre and he’s filled in at left wing … I think his second half has been much stronger than his first.”
Colby Lanceleve: “Colby brings you heart and soul. Colby plays hurt. Colby, at times, maybe wants to do too much for the right reasons. I’ll take a bunch of Colbys.”