It was a military term suggesting fighting pluck, a spirited and determined courage in tough times.
There could be no better name for the 2016 – 2017 Bearcats. They clearly faced great odds but demonstrated the resolve to fulfill a mission.
There’s no question the MHL finals were a battle between two determined teams and a credit to the MHL product.
The Timberwolves held the series lead three times, but the Bearcats answered each loss with a win in the following game.
This resilience earned the Bearcats their fourth Maritime junior hockey crown since returning to junior wars 20 years ago.
While they all tasted sweet, this one seems more special. It was only the second time in the last 18 years that the finals went to a Game 7.
Truro’s goaltending got the team through the tough times, usually early in every game.
The defensive corps, without a 20-year-old, withstood the heavy going, bending by times but never breaking.
The forwards stuck to their dump and grind game, changing the channel in the final game by scoring first and making Miramichi play catch-up hockey.
And for the coaching – nuff said.
The support through the playoffs was much appreciated by all teams in all venues. While Truro’s average attendance in regular season was 811, it jumped to 1,794 in the playoffs, with one surpassing the 2,300 mark.
Kudos to those fans bussed to Miramichi. They were loud and proud and you know the players knew you were there.
This week the Bearcats are in their sixth Fred Page Cup. Only two players were at the last one (2013 -2014). They know the quality of opposition to be faced.
In September the CJHL had 132 teams. Truro is among the 14 still playing in May.
They’re doing something right.
Gerry Hale is media relations co-ordinator of the Truro Bearcats junior A hockey club.