Bearcats hold firm on trade deadline day

Joey Smith webcomments@ngnews.ca
Published on January 10, 2017

Connor Morrison is sidelined with an ankle injury, but is expected to give the Truro Bearcats a boost when he rejoins his teammates in two-to-three weeks.

©TC Media file photo

TRURO, N.S. – Shawn Evans has never been one to make a lot of noise on trade deadline day, so it comes as little surprise the general manager of the Truro Bearcats held firm on Tuesday.

“Some guys love deadline day and can make a million calls and just relish in it,” said Evans. “Me, I don’t like to chase the dragon; it’s not fun.”

Evans made his biggest move of the season last week, just days ahead of the Maritime Junior Hockey League trade deadline when he added veteran forward Nic Blanchard in a five-player deal with the Valley Wildcats.

The Bearcats also welcomed the return of gritty forward Noah Archibald to the lineup following the Christmas break.

Connor Morrison, who spent the two previous seasons in Truro before starting the 2016-17 campaign in Ontario, was traded back to the Bearcats just before Christmas. He’s currently nursing an ankle injury and is expected to return to the ice in two-to-three weeks.

I’m hoping this group of boys will have a good last 20 games and give it their best effort and give themselves the best chance to win Truro Bearcats coach, GM Shawn Evans

And while there were no deals to be made yesterday, Evans said the addition of Blanchard, Archibald and Morrison gives his team the boost it needs during the stretch drive of the regular season.

Blanchard, a 20-year-old with major junior experience, made an immediate impact, collecting two points in a 6-0 win over Yarmouth last Friday and adding an assist in a 5-4 overtime victory over St. Stephen on Saturday.

“He makes the opposition have to respect him and his linemates, so it puts a bit of pressure on the other team,” Evans said.

Archibald has been sidelined with a shoulder injury and played his first games of the season last weekend.

“The boys are happy to have him,” Evans said. “I think he gave us a little emotional boost, too. It’s been a long road for the kid, we’re really glad to have him back, and now its just gonna take him a little bit of time to find a consistent game.”

Morrison tallied 17 goals and 31 assists in 88 games with the Bearcats over the previous two seasons.

“He’ll be a boost to the lineup whenever he’s 100 percent and ready to go,” Evans said.

The Bearcats are on the road this weekend for a pair of games. Saturday they travel to Yarmouth to face the Mariners, while Sunday they visit the Valley Wildcats.

Truro (19-9-1-1) is third in the Eastlink South Division, just three points behind second-place Yarmouth and only four back of the league-leading Pictou County Crushers.

“I’m hoping this group of boys will have a good last 20 games and give it their best effort and give themselves the best chance to win.”