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Young hockey prospects get to represent their province


Jared McIsaac and Ben Higgins continue to develop their hockey skills at a high level.

Last week, the two outstanding Nova Scotia Major Midget Hockey League (NSMMHL) performers were named to Nova Scotia’s under-16 Canada Games hockey team.

“It was very exciting for sure to make the Canada Games team,” said 14-year-old McIsaac, a Truro native living in Dartmouth. “It’s definitely one of the most exciting sports moments of my life.”

Both players received telephone calls from Nova Scotia Canada Games coach Jim Midgley. They also received a video from a Team N.S. alumnus.

“It was Nathan MacKinnon, of the Colorado Avalanche, telling us we made the team,” Higgins said. “He congratulated us and told us it was a big thing to get to represent Nova Scotia. It was really nice of Nathan to do this for us. It felt awesome. I worked really hard over the past couple years and to learn that I’d made the team, I was really happy.”

For McIsaac, actually a bantam age defenseman, he is enjoying a fine rookie season with the NSMMHL’s Cole Harbour Wolfpack (8-8-0-0).

“It’s definitely a learning experience,” McIsaac said. “Playing with a lot of older guys, you have to make a smart decision with the puck all the time.”

Higgins, a centre with Pictou County Weeks (6-13-0-0) also spoke highly of the league.

“It’s a very fast league,” he said. “It’s a good league -- there are a lot of good players playing at this level.”

McIsaac smiled as he indicated he is enjoying his hockey journey.

“My hockey is pretty well where I want it to be right now,” he said. “You have to take it game by game. There are no games off… You really have to enjoy it to play at this level.”

McIsaac played last season for the Dartmouth Whalers of the Nova Scotia Major Bantam Hockey League. In 2012-2013 he played for Mike Schmitt’s Truro Bearcats, Nova Scotia AAA peewee champions.

The 2009-2010 season significantly ties in with recently named Canada Games roster players. The Truro Bearcats, coached by Kevin Aucoin with assistants Schmitt, Steve Patton and Dave Allaby, came on strong late in the season to win the Nova Scotia AAA atom hockey championship.

Five players from that Bearcats team have been named to represent Nova Scotia at the 2015 Canada Games in Prince George, B.C., in February.

Besides McIsaac and Higgins, Christian Huntley, formerly of Truro and who now lives in Halifax and plays major midget for the Halifax McDonalds, played with the champion Bearcats and has been named to the Canada Games team. Two local female players, Julia Scammell and Julia Schmitt, also 2010 Bearcats, are likewise Prince George bound with Nova Scotia’s female team.

“That was certainly a special group of players,” Aucoin recalled earlier this week. “Our record was 50-3-9-3 and everyone contributed. To learn five of those players will represent Nova Scotia, it’s a tribute to the development system in Truro minor hockey and in particular our coordinator Steve Crowell.”

McIsaac said he’ll always remember the outcome in 2010.

“We hadn’t beat Bedford all year,” he said. “Then, we put it all together and defeated them in the finals. As for five players coming from a small town like Truro getting to go to the Canada Games, I’m almost speechless. I think all five players began power skating with Kevin Aucoin before we even started school. Kevin got us all started.”

Higgins was likewise positive.

“I think these players, both the girls and the guys, deserve to be going to the Canada Games,“ Higgins told me. “They’ve all worked hard over the years to advance to where they are. I wasn’t surprised with any of the announcements.”

_____________________________________________________________________

Lyle Carter’s sports column appears Saturdays in the Truro Daily News.

If you have a story idea, contact him at 673-2857.

 

Last week, the two outstanding Nova Scotia Major Midget Hockey League (NSMMHL) performers were named to Nova Scotia’s under-16 Canada Games hockey team.

“It was very exciting for sure to make the Canada Games team,” said 14-year-old McIsaac, a Truro native living in Dartmouth. “It’s definitely one of the most exciting sports moments of my life.”

Both players received telephone calls from Nova Scotia Canada Games coach Jim Midgley. They also received a video from a Team N.S. alumnus.

“It was Nathan MacKinnon, of the Colorado Avalanche, telling us we made the team,” Higgins said. “He congratulated us and told us it was a big thing to get to represent Nova Scotia. It was really nice of Nathan to do this for us. It felt awesome. I worked really hard over the past couple years and to learn that I’d made the team, I was really happy.”

For McIsaac, actually a bantam age defenseman, he is enjoying a fine rookie season with the NSMMHL’s Cole Harbour Wolfpack (8-8-0-0).

“It’s definitely a learning experience,” McIsaac said. “Playing with a lot of older guys, you have to make a smart decision with the puck all the time.”

Higgins, a centre with Pictou County Weeks (6-13-0-0) also spoke highly of the league.

“It’s a very fast league,” he said. “It’s a good league -- there are a lot of good players playing at this level.”

McIsaac smiled as he indicated he is enjoying his hockey journey.

“My hockey is pretty well where I want it to be right now,” he said. “You have to take it game by game. There are no games off… You really have to enjoy it to play at this level.”

McIsaac played last season for the Dartmouth Whalers of the Nova Scotia Major Bantam Hockey League. In 2012-2013 he played for Mike Schmitt’s Truro Bearcats, Nova Scotia AAA peewee champions.

The 2009-2010 season significantly ties in with recently named Canada Games roster players. The Truro Bearcats, coached by Kevin Aucoin with assistants Schmitt, Steve Patton and Dave Allaby, came on strong late in the season to win the Nova Scotia AAA atom hockey championship.

Five players from that Bearcats team have been named to represent Nova Scotia at the 2015 Canada Games in Prince George, B.C., in February.

Besides McIsaac and Higgins, Christian Huntley, formerly of Truro and who now lives in Halifax and plays major midget for the Halifax McDonalds, played with the champion Bearcats and has been named to the Canada Games team. Two local female players, Julia Scammell and Julia Schmitt, also 2010 Bearcats, are likewise Prince George bound with Nova Scotia’s female team.

“That was certainly a special group of players,” Aucoin recalled earlier this week. “Our record was 50-3-9-3 and everyone contributed. To learn five of those players will represent Nova Scotia, it’s a tribute to the development system in Truro minor hockey and in particular our coordinator Steve Crowell.”

McIsaac said he’ll always remember the outcome in 2010.

“We hadn’t beat Bedford all year,” he said. “Then, we put it all together and defeated them in the finals. As for five players coming from a small town like Truro getting to go to the Canada Games, I’m almost speechless. I think all five players began power skating with Kevin Aucoin before we even started school. Kevin got us all started.”

Higgins was likewise positive.

“I think these players, both the girls and the guys, deserve to be going to the Canada Games,“ Higgins told me. “They’ve all worked hard over the years to advance to where they are. I wasn’t surprised with any of the announcements.”

_____________________________________________________________________

Lyle Carter’s sports column appears Saturdays in the Truro Daily News.

If you have a story idea, contact him at 673-2857.

 

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