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BEARCAT BANTER – By Gerry Hale: Competition alive and well

Bearcat Banter
Bearcat Banter

TRURO, N.S. – The Truro Bearcats have been in postseason play for each of the 20 years since returning to Maritime Junior Hockey.

For sure, not all playoff runs are equal in length, intensity and success. The current one ranks among the best.

It’s hard to match the excitement and enthusiasm generated among players and fans alike. Well received is an understatement.

Perhaps most noteworthy is that few, in August, would have predicted the Bearcats to be where they are.

As far back as June, most MHL observers had forecast the Miramichi Timberwolves to be a finalist, most probably against the Crushers or Ramblers.

The Bearcats started the season with fewer returnees than expected, a couple of 2012 draft picks who resurfaced and seven rookies.

The return of one player who rethought his game, another off the DL and an acquisition at the trade deadline brought the complement of players to 23.

They certainly came together and are now fully engaged in a tough, competitive series. Life is good.

The pattern in the series coming into this week is clear. The Timberwolves have ferocious, overwhelming starts while the Bearcats finish strong.

Miramichi scored first in the initial five games. Once the Bearcats figured out how to fend off the offensive onslaught, they rebounded, sometimes all the way, sometimes a bit short.

The Bearcats have only one way to play. It relies on a deep forecheck, tenacity along the boards and solid goaltending, with some puck luck thrown in.

Truro had a great start, Monday, but it was the Timberwolves who had a great third period to finish. This was a game that got away from the Bearcats.

Tonight the Bearcats are on the brink of elimination. It’s hard to mince words about that.

But, home cooking has been effective for both teams. Look to the Bearcats to force a Game 7.

GO CATS GO

Gerry Hale is media relatins co-ordinator of the Truro Bearcats junior A hockey club.

 

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