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Youth movement comes up clutch for Bearcats in first pre-season game


TRURO – There are two things Jalen Gillard, Cam MacLeod and Ben Higgins have in common: All three spent last season in major midget, and all three scored for the Bearcats on Saturday night.

It appears the kids are, in fact, all right.

The Bearcats kicked off their preseason campaign on Saturday with a home win over the Pictou County Weeks Crushers, finishing up with a 3-1 score.

“It feels awesome,” MacLeod said after the game. “It’s a great group of guys and we worked hard and were able to come out with the W.”

The Crushers got out to an early lead on a powerplay goal from Michael Dill, assisted by Garrett Lambke and Drew Packman.

Things quickly turned chippy with officials handing out 64 minutes in penalties to both teams following a questionable hit by Cole Murphy of the Crushers. Both teams converged without gloves dropping, resulting in six 10-minute misconducts, a boarding penalty to Murphy and a roughing minor to Zach Beaton.

Truro pulled even at 14:46 of the first frame when Gillard converted on a feed from Connor Morrison to make it 1-1.

MacLeod was next up for the Bearcats, taking a pass from Beaton and finding the back of the net.

Things turned messy again in the second period when Crushers forward Regan Spears dropped the mitts with Truro defenceman Tyler Pyke. The Bearcat rookie landed a few shots early before being taken down by a hard right from Spears.

The Bearcats would extend the lead a short time later. Down a man on the penalty kill, centre Jimmy Soper grabbed the puck and went on a dazzling rush, finishing with a pass to Higgins who made no mistake.

Rookie goalie Luke Melanson came in for veteran Jacob Fancy and shut the door through the remainder of the second and third periods to hold on for a win.

MacLeod, who spent last season with the Newbridge Senators of the Nova Scotia Major Midget League, said they knew it would be another installment of the rivalry.

“It was a good chippy game off the start, so I think we knew what we were in for,” he said. “It was good to set the tone off the start and get the W.”

Gillard spoke of the difference from major midget in speed and physicality. The six-foot forward is no stranger to physical play, but was drilled into the goalpost from behind the net in the third period. After crashing into the net, Bearcats vet Denver Lynds stepped in for a few words with the Crushers defenceman.

“(The younger players) knew going in that we had a tough team around us,” Gillard said  “It’s good to know going in that you have backup.”

Speaking of backup, MacLeod has a favour to return, he said.

“It feels great (to score the first goal). I owe my roomie, Beats, one. He gave me a nice pass and I just finished.”

The two teams will be back in action Sunday night across Mount Thom in Crusher territory. Game time at the Pictou County Wellness Centre is slated for 7 p.m.

 

It appears the kids are, in fact, all right.

The Bearcats kicked off their preseason campaign on Saturday with a home win over the Pictou County Weeks Crushers, finishing up with a 3-1 score.

“It feels awesome,” MacLeod said after the game. “It’s a great group of guys and we worked hard and were able to come out with the W.”

The Crushers got out to an early lead on a powerplay goal from Michael Dill, assisted by Garrett Lambke and Drew Packman.

Things quickly turned chippy with officials handing out 64 minutes in penalties to both teams following a questionable hit by Cole Murphy of the Crushers. Both teams converged without gloves dropping, resulting in six 10-minute misconducts, a boarding penalty to Murphy and a roughing minor to Zach Beaton.

Truro pulled even at 14:46 of the first frame when Gillard converted on a feed from Connor Morrison to make it 1-1.

MacLeod was next up for the Bearcats, taking a pass from Beaton and finding the back of the net.

Things turned messy again in the second period when Crushers forward Regan Spears dropped the mitts with Truro defenceman Tyler Pyke. The Bearcat rookie landed a few shots early before being taken down by a hard right from Spears.

The Bearcats would extend the lead a short time later. Down a man on the penalty kill, centre Jimmy Soper grabbed the puck and went on a dazzling rush, finishing with a pass to Higgins who made no mistake.

Rookie goalie Luke Melanson came in for veteran Jacob Fancy and shut the door through the remainder of the second and third periods to hold on for a win.

MacLeod, who spent last season with the Newbridge Senators of the Nova Scotia Major Midget League, said they knew it would be another installment of the rivalry.

“It was a good chippy game off the start, so I think we knew what we were in for,” he said. “It was good to set the tone off the start and get the W.”

Gillard spoke of the difference from major midget in speed and physicality. The six-foot forward is no stranger to physical play, but was drilled into the goalpost from behind the net in the third period. After crashing into the net, Bearcats vet Denver Lynds stepped in for a few words with the Crushers defenceman.

“(The younger players) knew going in that we had a tough team around us,” Gillard said  “It’s good to know going in that you have backup.”

Speaking of backup, MacLeod has a favour to return, he said.

“It feels great (to score the first goal). I owe my roomie, Beats, one. He gave me a nice pass and I just finished.”

The two teams will be back in action Sunday night across Mount Thom in Crusher territory. Game time at the Pictou County Wellness Centre is slated for 7 p.m.

 

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