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Fougere steps down as major bantam coach

Troy Fougere is stepping down as head coach of the Truro Bearcats major bantam hockey team after two seasons behind the bench.
Troy Fougere is stepping down as head coach of the Truro Bearcats major bantam hockey team after two seasons behind the bench. - SaltWire Network

TRURO, N.S. – Troy Fougere has a new-found appreciation for the Nova Scotia Major Bantam Hockey League.

Fougere, head coach of the Truro Bearcats for the past two seasons, was impressed by the level of talent – both on and off the ice – during his time in the league.

“I know in Year 1 I didn’t give the league enough credit,” said Fougere. “The coaches are good, the players are good and you really have to prepare in order to compete and be successful, and that’s a compliment to owners, the coaches in the league and the coaches before this league that develop the kids for it.

“I was really pleased with the calibre of play and the level of coaching that I was forced to do because of other teams and other players. It was a great challenge.”

Fougere won’t return to the bench next season. Instead, the physical education teacher at Truro elementary will focus on his career as he prepares for a two-year outdoor education course that will take up a lot of his time on weekends.

“So not being able to commit to multiple weekends over the next two years, I just felt that it would be better if someone who can be committed full-time take over at the helm,” said the 47-year-old from Valley.

The Truro major bantam team made great strides under the direction of Fougere. In his first season, the team posted an 11-19-0-2-1 record during the regular campaign and lost a first-round playoff series in two straight games. Last year, however, the Bearcats were one of the top teams in the province, finishing in second place with an eye-popping record of 28-2-0-3-0 and winning bronze at the provincial tournament for their best finish in the history of the franchise.

“As an organization, we want to thank Troy for his dedication and time over the last two years,” said Bearcats general manager David Higgins. “He’s put a lot of effort into our program and that doesn’t go unnoticed. He’s been a real help to our program.”

Prior to his time with the bantam team, Fougere served as an assistant coach of the Truro Bearcats junior A squad for 18 years, 14 alongside head coach and GM Shawn Evans.

He said the opportunity to teach younger players at the bantam level was a fulfilling experience.

“There was a much larger developmental piece there and it was fun trying to teach and share with them some of the stuff I learned from Shawn over the years and trying to bring it to their level … and not just in hockey to be better players, but hopefully better people, too,” he said.

Greg Mullen will take over from Fougere as bench boss. Mullen worked with Fougere as an assistant coach of the major bantams for the past two seasons.

“The kids are in good hands; you’re not going find a gentleman that’s more passionate about the game that has the kids’ well-being at heart,” Fougere said. “He’ll do really well.”

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