The Truro Bearcats are playoff bound.
This marks the 21st consecutive season the team advances to post-season play. That, in itself, is an impressive record.
The Bearcats lost their first two games in January, sat in fourth place, then never allowed the teams below to catch them.
The team put together a 12-3-1 record since those losses. It was a tough schedule demanding they win on the road against teams ahead of them.
The Bearcats didn’t play perfect hockey but they played as well as they could. You can’t ask for more than that. The players did their part.
The fourth playoff spot in the division was clinched in New Glasgow last week. While the hometown Crushers had an edge territorially, and in desperation, the Bearcats got the goaltending and timely goals.
They followed up last weekend with a pair of wins in New Brunswick. Perhaps, understandably, Truro’s intensity and focus was down.
In Woodstock, the Bearcats and Slammers took turns scoring until the Bearcats scored in OT. Overall, the Slammers forced Truro to play.
After a slow start in St. Stephen, the Bearcats regained their game, got busy and took over the game. The game is more fun when playing in the opponent’s end.
It’s clear whom the participants in the Eastlink South Division playoffs will be. There is, however, room for movement in positions two through four. All that will be decided this week.
The Bearcats have three games remaining. Tonight, they’re in New Glasgow; Friday and Saturday they are at the RECC for games against Amherst and Yarmouth.
This will be the Crushers last home game of the season, with no playoffs in sight. The Bearcats look to play them straight up.
The Ramblers have had their difficulties with the Bearcats. The visitors will try to do something about changing that.
If playoffs were to start this week, the Bearcats would play Yarmouth. Maybe they will exchange messages.
The Bearcats look to continue to play their game, get better at it and enter playoffs healthy.
Saturday, the team will acknowledge the contributions of eight graduating players. Coach Shawn Evans will present a ring to graduates prior to the start of the Bearcats-Mariners game at the RECC beginning at 7 p.m.
Gerry Hale is media relations coordinator of the Truro Bearcats junior A hockey club.