TRURO, N.S. – For the third straight year, Shawn Evans will coach Team Eastlink at the Eastern Canada Cup All Star Challenge hockey tournament.
Evans, the head coach and general manager of the Truro Bearcats MHL team, will guide a group of players at the tournament Nov. 13 to 15 in Trenton, Ont.
“It’s always nice to be recognized and it’s always nice to represent the Truro Bearcats,” Evans, 52, told the Truro Daily News Wednesday.
The Eastern Canada Cup is a prospects tournament that features Tier 2 junior players from leagues in Quebec, Ontario and the MHL.
Evans coached the MHL team in 2016 and 2017 in Cornwall, Ont.
“The tournament is a really high-skilled tournament,” he said. “We have some really nice hockey players out here, but there’s some really nice hockey players up there (in Quebec and Ontario). It will be my third time, so the shock factor won’t be there, but it’s high-intensity, high-speed, short hockey games.”
A native of Kingston, Ont., Evans is currently in his 16th season as head coach of the Bearcats. He has enjoyed a great deal of success during his tenure, and has won four league titles and has made seven finals appearances.
“I’ve had the good fortune to coach a lot of good players here over a lot of years,” Evans said. “I’m very grateful to the players on the team this year and all those guys in the past.”
Jeff LeBlanc of the Amherst Ramblers and Laurie Barron of the Yarmouth Mariners have been named assistant coaches for Team Eastlink. Barron was behind the team’s bench with Evans in 2016.
“Certainly, with Laurie Barron and Jeff LeBlanc, we’re going to share the work,” said Evans. “We’re going to work together, and I’ve had enough battles with those guys over the years, it’ll be fun to work with them.”
Evans will have another familiar face with him at the tournament, as Bearcats athletic therapist Steve Lindsay has been named equipment manager for team.
Other members of the Team Eastlink staff include athletic therapist Marc Francisco (Valley Wildcats) and athletic therapist/equipment manager William Marr (Yarmouth Mariners).
Evans said the coaching staff is in the process of selecting the team and is faced with some tough choices.
“We’re going to be pleased with our team, but there’s going to be a lot of good hockey players from our league that won’t get chosen; there’s only 20 guys that get to go.”
Evans has also been named to the coaching staff for Team Canada East for the world junior A hockey challenge, which will be played in Truro in December.