The Rogers Hometown Hockey Tour, with hosts Ron MacLean and Tara Slone, rolls into 24 communities across Canada this season. The Rogers Sportsnet mobile studio is set up at Truro’s Civic Square with a much-anticipated hockey celebration to run from noon today until Sunday evening following the Rogers Hometown Hockey
outdoor viewing party.
The special pregame show, hosted live on site by MacLean and Slone, is televised nationally, beginning Sunday at 7.30 p.m. Nova Scotia time. Carried on Sportsnet One and Sportsnet Two, hometown hockey continues during the NHL game between Pittsburgh Penguins and Winnipeg Jets.
Truro’s rich hockey history dates back to the 1920s when the “original” Truro Bearcats won Maritime championships in 1925 and 1926. Attempts to hoist the Allan Cup followed with Truro facing such great teams as Sydney Millionaires, McGill University Redmen and Hamilton Tigers. The 1932-33 season saw Truro’s Gord Kuhn
play 12 games in the National Hockey League with New York Americans.
- Colchester Forum housed the highly competitive Truro District Hockey League from 1934 until 1963. Many outstanding black hockey players were developed in Truro, including Bob Mentis, Art Dorrington, Stan “Chook” Maxwell, Ray Mentis, Johnny Mentis, Gordie Maxwell, Darrell Maxwell and others.
It was 1997-98 when the Truro TSN Bearcats won the coveted Allan Cup. Stu Rath, a local businessman who owned the TSN Bearcats, also entered a second team that year, the Truro Bearcats in the Maritime Junior A Hockey League. The Bearcats became
Instant contenders, and with the arrival of former high-scoring professional defenceman Shawn Evans as coach and general manager, the Bearcats won four Maritime championships over 15 years.
The spacious and comfortable Rath Eastlink Community Centre has been another big plus locally. Hundreds of outstanding volunteers stand out as they support the Truro & Area Minor Hockey Association and three nearby associations – Brookfield, Debert and Tatamagouche.
In recent years, David Brine, of Bible Hill, and Zach Sill, of Birch Hill, two players developed locally, both saw action in the NHL. There are truly many reasons to be proud of Truro and this area’s hockey history.
A big welcome Ron MacLean, Tara Slone and hometown hockey – thank you for choosing Truro as one of your 24 stops.
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Ron MacLean and Don Cherry have been together 28 years on CBC’s Hockey Night In Canada, which of course Coach’s Corner is a huge part of.
Ron’s sincere approach stands out during interviews with the game’s greatest players and coaches. One of Canada’s most beloved sportscasters, Ron is also an accomplished writer.
The national best seller Cornered/with foreword by Don Cherry, is a good read, and more recently Ron wrote Hockey Towns.
Cornered, in an interesting way, discloses: Ron was born in Unterm, Germany in 1960 at the Zweibrucken Air Base. Ron’s father, Ronald, spent 32 years in the Canadian Army. His father lived in North Sydney, Sydney River and Point Aconi during his own youth.
Ron’s mother Catherine was in the Royal Canadian Air Force – the couple were married in France in 1959.
After living in France 14 months, a transfer to RCAF Station Gorsebrook in Halifax followed.
When Ron was four, the family went to Victoria, B.C., then it was Whitehorse where Ron got into hockey. Halifax was the next stop with Ron playing squirt hockey. Edmonton followed and
later Ron’s father retired in Red Deer.
The book goes into his father’s hardships during youth, and Ron tells it like it is.
Ron’s own journey is unique and readers can follow his deserving progress as an announcer and sportscaster. Early clashes with Don Cherry are phenomenal.
This book is a good one.
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Randy Frame and Francois Paiement have planned for two years a reunion for the 1997-98 junior A Truro Bearcats.
It became a definite go this past July as Anders Akerberg agreed to come from Sweden. Tonight, as part of an outstanding 20-year reunion these players will be guests of honour at the RECC as today’s Truro Bearcats meet the Valley Wildcats.
“I’m pretty sure a few of us have put on some weight,” Frame said. “This is going to be real special. When we all get together, it’ll be just like in the dressing room in 1997-98 when we would shout out our crazy banter.”
Carter’s column appears Saturdays in the Truro Daily News. If you have a story idea, contact him at 902 673-2857.