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BEARCAT BANTER – By Gerry Hale: Round 3 – North vs. South

Bearcat Banter
Bearcat Banter

The Bearcats win in five – the Eastlink South divisional crown is theirs.

For the Bearcat faithful, this sounds great. As always, the winning team deserves full credit for its accomplishments.

So, too, do the Amherst Ramblers. They figured things out and proceeded to make the series a tough and very entertaining one.

There’s no question the Bearcats caught the Ramblers looking in the opening games.  That changed.

The real Ramblers showed up in the third game. They recognized that structure and discipline needed to be the way to go.

Amherst took that game over a flat Bearcat effort, then pressed hard for the remainder of the series.

The final two games weren’t decided until the final minutes.  All elements of a real playoff round were in play.

When the chips settled Monday, it was clear the Bearcats were able to find ways to win. Goals don’t have to be pretty; they just have to count.

Truro’s special team play shone when needed most. The individual play, which surfaced in Game 3 of both rounds, wasn’t the way to succeed.

There are three giant steps required to be declared MHL champions.  The Bearcats and Miramichi Timberwolves have each completed two of them.

This matchup features two teams who have never met at this stage of a season. The Bearcats re-entered the league in 1997-1998 while the Timberwolves started up in 2000-2001.

This year, Miramichi won two of three meetings with Truro and each ended the season with 35 wins. Statistically, there’s not much difference.

The Timberwolves are big, strong, fast, and a more veteran team than the Bearcats. They swept their two rounds and have been hunting a championship since last season ended.

This should be an interesting series. That’s the way it should be. The Bearcats, as Eastlink South champs, will be in it for the long haul.

GO CATS GO!

Gerry Hale is media relations co-ordinator of the Truro Bearcats junior A hockey team.

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