Toronto FC fullback Steven Beitashour hopes to leave concussion behind him
TORONTO — Walk past Steven Beitashour at Toronto FC's training ground and the veteran fullback looks as always, a smile on display.
Denver Lynds, a fourth-year left-winger for the Truro Bearcats, is looking forward to getting the playoffs underway. The Bearcats open their first-round MHL series Thursday when they host the Yarmouth Mariners.
©TC Media file photo
TRURO, N.S. – Denver Lynds has never wanted to be anything but a Truro Bearcat.
“Love being a Bearcat, man,” said Lynds, a 21-year-old forward for the Maritime Junior Hockey League club. “I’ve had my ups and downs, for sure, with coach and my personal problems, but always loved being a Bearcat.
“I’ve always had help,” he continued. “Whenever I fell two steps behind I always had the help getting back … A-1, I’d never play anywhere else.”
“I told the team if they ever traded me I’d quit hockey, swear to God, I said that in my second year. I said if I ever get traded, might as well hang ’em up for me. I didn’t want to play anywhere else; this was the spot for me.”
In my last year I’m not taking it for granted, so hopefully something good will come out of this year. Bearcats forward Denver Lynds
For four seasons, the six-foot-one, 198-pounder from Debert has patrolled the left wing for the Bearcats.
How time flies.
“I remember putting on the jersey for the first time; it feels like yesterday,” he said.
Now, Lynds is gearing up for his final playoff run in junior hockey, as the Bearcats open their best-of-seven Eastlink South Division semifinal series against the Yarmouth Mariners Thursday (RECC, 7 p.m.).
“In my last year I’m not taking it for granted, so hopefully something good will come out of this year.”
Lynds has enjoyed success as a Bearcat. In his rookie season, he won a MHL championship, and followed that with a trip to the league final in 2014-15.
“It’s pretty special,” he said. “Not every team gets to play in playoffs and I’ve been lucky enough to play every year in playoffs.”
Lynds, who skates on a line with fellow veteran Brandon Hughes and rookie Dylan Burton, plays a crash and bang style and is an emotional player. Key to his success in the post-season, though, will be keeping those emotions in check while remaining aggressive.
“When Denver’s skating and is physical, everyone in the rink knows he’s on the ice, including the opponent,” said Bearcats coach Shawn Evans. “The main thing for Denver is he needs to find a way to keep his cool. Right or wrong, sometimes he’s a marked man by the officials and he has to find a way to play his game and stay on the ice, and when he does that here in the playoffs he’ll be a leader for us, which is what I expect.”
Lynds, an alternate captain, said playoffs are his “favourite time of the year.” Giving credence to that statement is the way he’s performed in previous post-season runs.
“The biggest compliment I can give Denver is in three previous years he’s never let the team down with how he plays when the playoffs come,” said Evans. “Denver’s a force, and he’s been a force in three straight playoffs and I’ll expect him to be that force one more time.”
Team: Truro Bearcats
H-W: 6’ 1” 198 lbs.
2016-17 stats: 17 G, 22A, 39 Pts., 143 PIM
Quote: “Denver might not know this, but when it’s all said and done, I’m gonna miss him when he’s gone.” – Bearcats coach Shawn Evans.