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Buzzer Beater: Once a Cat, always a Cat


Everywhere I go, I get asked the same question.

 

Being a Newfoundlander, I can blend in to the East Coast way of living here in Nova Scotia with relative ease. However, as conversation progresses, maybe it’s a slip of an accent and the subtle differences in lingo, but it becomes clear I am not from here.

And I get the familiar question, “So where are you from?”

A straightforward question, sure, but it’s not so easy to answer when you’re from a hick town of 2,500 people on the interior of Newfoundland.

“A little place called Botwood,” I reply. “Near Grand Falls-Windsor, if you’ve heard of-”

And before I can finish the sentence, no matter where I am around Colchester County or who I’m talking to, the follow up seems to be inevitable.

“Oh, do you know Alex Dalley?”

Looking at Dalley’s stat lines for the 2010-11 and 2011-12 seasons, not much jumps off the page about the former Bearcats forward. But somehow, every single person who knows anything about the Bearcats, knows the guy.

So to answer the question once and for all, yes, I do know Alex Dalley.

I played hockey against Dalley as a kid, and even then he had a reputation as a player who had the wheels of a cheetah, but the hands of a seal. His speed and smarts were enough to know he was going somewhere with it, though.

While I don’t know him well, I know enough to understand why he’s a fan favourite, both here and at home.

Last month, Dalley kicked off the 2014-15 season with the Grand Falls-Windsor Cataracts, a senior team in the Newfoundland Central-West Hockey League. The defending league champs, the Cataracts will contend for the Allan Cup – the national gem of all senior hockey trophies – later this season.

Even with senior hockey dead and gone in Truro, there’s still a reason to care about this year’s Allan Cup: The Grand Falls-Windsor Cataracts are the Ghosts of Bearcats Past.

One of the Cataracts’ studs on defense, Rodi Short, is a former Bearcats captain and all-time leading scorer among defenseman. Sammy Hounsell captained the Truro squad the year after Short, and has been a mainstay on the Grand Falls blue line for six years. Also on defense is Luke Gallant, who played one season with the Bearcats before a successful Quebec League and university career. Up front, there’s Dalley, who was a strong defensive forward for two seasons, as well as the league’s top academic player, before heading to Campbellton to finish his MHL career. Also in the fold is Brandon Nicholas, who was traded from the Cataracts in the offseason, but still eligible to play in the Allan Cup. Nicholas played a handful of games for Truro, but was more notably the Nova Scotia Junior Hockey League’s top rookie in 2003-04 with the Brookfield Elks.

Another familiar face in the Allan Cup will be Mitchell Oake, who spent two seasons in Truro, and will play for the host Clarenville Caribous.

It’s no secret Shawn Evans and staff like Newfoundlanders. Players like Kyle Tibbo, Brandon Pye and Adam Guy have been leaders on the team in recent years. This past summer, Evans made Conception Bay South native, Riley Baggs, his number one pick in this year’s draft, ensuring a rock presence for years to come.

So while I spend most of my time covering up my goober accent, for one week in April, I’ll be cheering loud and proud here in Truro for the b’ys back home.

Go Cats Go.

 

Note: Buzzer Beater is a weekly column by sports editor Ryan Cooke

 

 

Being a Newfoundlander, I can blend in to the East Coast way of living here in Nova Scotia with relative ease. However, as conversation progresses, maybe it’s a slip of an accent and the subtle differences in lingo, but it becomes clear I am not from here.

And I get the familiar question, “So where are you from?”

A straightforward question, sure, but it’s not so easy to answer when you’re from a hick town of 2,500 people on the interior of Newfoundland.

“A little place called Botwood,” I reply. “Near Grand Falls-Windsor, if you’ve heard of-”

And before I can finish the sentence, no matter where I am around Colchester County or who I’m talking to, the follow up seems to be inevitable.

“Oh, do you know Alex Dalley?”

Looking at Dalley’s stat lines for the 2010-11 and 2011-12 seasons, not much jumps off the page about the former Bearcats forward. But somehow, every single person who knows anything about the Bearcats, knows the guy.

So to answer the question once and for all, yes, I do know Alex Dalley.

I played hockey against Dalley as a kid, and even then he had a reputation as a player who had the wheels of a cheetah, but the hands of a seal. His speed and smarts were enough to know he was going somewhere with it, though.

While I don’t know him well, I know enough to understand why he’s a fan favourite, both here and at home.

Last month, Dalley kicked off the 2014-15 season with the Grand Falls-Windsor Cataracts, a senior team in the Newfoundland Central-West Hockey League. The defending league champs, the Cataracts will contend for the Allan Cup – the national gem of all senior hockey trophies – later this season.

Even with senior hockey dead and gone in Truro, there’s still a reason to care about this year’s Allan Cup: The Grand Falls-Windsor Cataracts are the Ghosts of Bearcats Past.

One of the Cataracts’ studs on defense, Rodi Short, is a former Bearcats captain and all-time leading scorer among defenseman. Sammy Hounsell captained the Truro squad the year after Short, and has been a mainstay on the Grand Falls blue line for six years. Also on defense is Luke Gallant, who played one season with the Bearcats before a successful Quebec League and university career. Up front, there’s Dalley, who was a strong defensive forward for two seasons, as well as the league’s top academic player, before heading to Campbellton to finish his MHL career. Also in the fold is Brandon Nicholas, who was traded from the Cataracts in the offseason, but still eligible to play in the Allan Cup. Nicholas played a handful of games for Truro, but was more notably the Nova Scotia Junior Hockey League’s top rookie in 2003-04 with the Brookfield Elks.

Another familiar face in the Allan Cup will be Mitchell Oake, who spent two seasons in Truro, and will play for the host Clarenville Caribous.

It’s no secret Shawn Evans and staff like Newfoundlanders. Players like Kyle Tibbo, Brandon Pye and Adam Guy have been leaders on the team in recent years. This past summer, Evans made Conception Bay South native, Riley Baggs, his number one pick in this year’s draft, ensuring a rock presence for years to come.

So while I spend most of my time covering up my goober accent, for one week in April, I’ll be cheering loud and proud here in Truro for the b’ys back home.

Go Cats Go.

 

Note: Buzzer Beater is a weekly column by sports editor Ryan Cooke

 

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