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Soper, Baggs named to Team MHL


TRURO - On his way off the ice after practice on Friday morning, Riley Baggs bumped into Bearcats trainer Steve Lindsay.

"Congrats," he said with a wink to the young defenceman.

"For what?" Baggs responded.

"You'll see."

Confused, Baggs continued on as normal. He was later pulled aside by head coach Shawn Evans, who informed him he was bound for Cornwall, Ont., for the Eastern Canadian Junior A Challenge.

Baggs, along with Bearcats captain Jimmy Soper, was selected to be part of Team MHL - an all-star group to represent the Maritime league at the three-day tournament.

"It's an honour," Baggs told the Truro Daily News. "To represent this league, to represent the Bearcats - it's just an honour."

There will be no town better represented at the all-star event than Truro. Along with Soper and Baggs, Evans will be one of Team MHL's three coaches. Lindsay, meanwhile, will take over equipment manager duties and Truro's Dave Ritcey, president of the MHL, will take part at the executive level.

The team will feature star players such as Blaize Bridges and Thomas Stavert of the Summerside Western Capitals, along with younger players like Baggs, 18, and rookies Matt Barron (Yarmouth Mariners) and Gregor MacLeod (Campbellton Tigers).

"It was not easy (to pick the team)," Evans said. "But we're very happy with the young men we have here, and they should be very happy with the opportunity they have ahead of them."

The team could only contain five 20-year-old players, and it was a priority to feature as many guys from different backgrounds as possible. The team will feature players to be scouted by NCAA teams, professional clubs and the Eastern Canadian team for the World Junior A Challenge.

"Providing opportunities for our players is the top priority for us, and there's no better way to do it than this tournament," Ritcey said.

Ritcey, along with Evans and fellow coaches Nick Greenough and Josh Hepditch, worked together to build the team. Coaches from around the league nominated players, and the group whittled it down to the final roster.

The team won't have much time to come together before heading to Cornwall from Nov. 16 to 18. Evans isn't sure how he'll change his coaching game, but he's looking forward to working with Greenough and Hepditch.

"We'll figure it all out," he said. "We're kind of like the three amigos - we'll have some fun but we're there to be competitive."

The event is in its fifth year, yet it's the first year the MHL has taken part. Baggs said he's excited to showcase the skills the league possesses.

"It's really cool to get to play with all those guys. I think our league is extremely underrated. We have a great league here with all kinds of skill so it's great to get to showcase it."

"Congrats," he said with a wink to the young defenceman.

"For what?" Baggs responded.

"You'll see."

Confused, Baggs continued on as normal. He was later pulled aside by head coach Shawn Evans, who informed him he was bound for Cornwall, Ont., for the Eastern Canadian Junior A Challenge.

Baggs, along with Bearcats captain Jimmy Soper, was selected to be part of Team MHL - an all-star group to represent the Maritime league at the three-day tournament.

"It's an honour," Baggs told the Truro Daily News. "To represent this league, to represent the Bearcats - it's just an honour."

There will be no town better represented at the all-star event than Truro. Along with Soper and Baggs, Evans will be one of Team MHL's three coaches. Lindsay, meanwhile, will take over equipment manager duties and Truro's Dave Ritcey, president of the MHL, will take part at the executive level.

The team will feature star players such as Blaize Bridges and Thomas Stavert of the Summerside Western Capitals, along with younger players like Baggs, 18, and rookies Matt Barron (Yarmouth Mariners) and Gregor MacLeod (Campbellton Tigers).

"It was not easy (to pick the team)," Evans said. "But we're very happy with the young men we have here, and they should be very happy with the opportunity they have ahead of them."

The team could only contain five 20-year-old players, and it was a priority to feature as many guys from different backgrounds as possible. The team will feature players to be scouted by NCAA teams, professional clubs and the Eastern Canadian team for the World Junior A Challenge.

"Providing opportunities for our players is the top priority for us, and there's no better way to do it than this tournament," Ritcey said.

Ritcey, along with Evans and fellow coaches Nick Greenough and Josh Hepditch, worked together to build the team. Coaches from around the league nominated players, and the group whittled it down to the final roster.

The team won't have much time to come together before heading to Cornwall from Nov. 16 to 18. Evans isn't sure how he'll change his coaching game, but he's looking forward to working with Greenough and Hepditch.

"We'll figure it all out," he said. "We're kind of like the three amigos - we'll have some fun but we're there to be competitive."

The event is in its fifth year, yet it's the first year the MHL has taken part. Baggs said he's excited to showcase the skills the league possesses.

"It's really cool to get to play with all those guys. I think our league is extremely underrated. We have a great league here with all kinds of skill so it's great to get to showcase it."

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