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Higgins, a much-travelled 10-year-old hockey prospect


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Born in Truro Feb. 4, 1999, Ben Higgins was playing initiation hockey under coach Troy Fougere by 2004.
His father Dave Higgins was his coach the next season in novice and when he moved up to advanced novice and atom AAA hockey, he developed further under coaches Steve Crowell and Kevin Aucoin.
A fast-skating centre with outstanding puck-handling ability and enormous puck sense, Higgins, during the past couple of seasons, has served notice that he is quite a hockey prospect. Scoring 188 goals during 2007-08, completing the amazing season with 244 points.
Last year, he was just as brilliant firing 95 goals and added 47 assists.
In early May, Higgins journeyed to Chicago where he played five games for the Chicago Junior Blackhawks in the Cougar Classic Hockey Tournament. The team is coached by former NHLers Rocky Saganiuk and Rob Brown and managed by former Blackhawk Steve Dubinsky.
"It was a great experience. I enjoyed playing with, and against, many top-calibre players," Higgins commented.
"We lost out in the championship game to Detroit Little Caesar's Red Wings."
Now eyeing a June 28 Junior Blackhawk training camp in Edmonton, Alta., the Bible Hill resident shared: "I've been thinking quite a bit about the Brick Invitational Hockey Tournament in Edmonton. It will begin July 1. We will likely get a chance to play the Detroit team again."
The tournament will feature top nine- and 10-year-old hockey prospects from all over North America. Receiving a letter of congratulations on being selected to play for the Junior Blackhawks, Higgins was thrilled when he realized it was signed by Jonathon Toews and six of his Blackhawk teammates, who had all once played for the Junior Blackhawk Brick team.
Regarding other hockey activities this summer, Higgins advised: "Playing with players from all around the province in last weekend's Nova Scotia Prospect's Hockey Tournament in Halifax was fun.
"We played six games and getting the gold medal was one of the top things that happened this summer."
Higgins also made a recent trip to Ottawa for hockey.
Wondering how a much-travelled and talented 10-year-old kid might sum up his personal feelings about hockey, I decided to ask.
"I just love playing the game," the polite Higgins responded. "I like to win. I enjoy skating fast, hockey's just a great game. This fall when Truro hockey starts, I'm looking forward to playing atom AAA."
Both Ben and his father Dave made it a point to credit the high calibre of coaches who help young players in the Truro area. Names like Shawn Evans, Troy Fougere, Steve Crowell, Kevin Aucoin and others quickly surfaced.

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Watching Metro Minor Lacrosse action last Saturday at the Don Henderson Memorial Sportsplex in Brookfield, the Truro Townsview Estates Bearcats defeated Eastern Shore Breakers 8-1. For the winners, John Mattix lead the way with a three-goal performance.
Sitting with Ed Davidson and Stephen Curry, I had many questions for both men who have followed lacrosse closely for several years. Davidson's son Lee plays for the Truro junior B team, while his daughter Alanna plays for the senior women. Curry's son Jacob also plays for Truro.
Following the game it was good to say hello to Bearcat coach Stu Mills, veteran players Davidson, Mattix and Robert MacNevin and rookies Ryan Perigo and Todd Myette.
"It has been going quite well this year," Mills said.
"This is probably the most talented group of guys that I've ever coached. Lee Davidson, our captain, is a real team leader. Lee and a number of veterans are leading by example. Matt Fitzgerald has been doing an outstanding job in the nets. Every player seems to be bonding, everyone is putting heart into it and we seem to have good team chemistry."
The sixth year coach and former member of the Armed Services, who now resides in Bass River, also credited the team's manager, Cathy Myette, for doing a phenomenal job. And he expressed thanks to his wife Sheila for making it possible for him to coach.
More on the growth of local lacrosse next week when Myette will answer questions for Sports Scene. And Catherine MacNevin, the mother of three local players, Robert, Graham and Richard, will also be a guest.
Tomorrow afternoon at 3:30 p.m. at the Sportsplex, lacrosse action continues when the Truro Townsview Estates Bearcats play host to Dartmouth.

Lyle Carter is a former professional hockey player and a Brookfield resident

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