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Brookfield Junior Hockey Elks' line-up features many new faces

Among the members of the Brookfield Elks this season are, from left, Mikey Willis, Jakob Deveau, coach Marc Bildstein, Alex Deveau and Will Stewart.
Among the members of the Brookfield Elks this season are, from left, Mikey Willis, Jakob Deveau, coach Marc Bildstein, Alex Deveau and Will Stewart. - Contributed

Team is undergoing a rebuilding prcess

It was an exciting Saturday afternoon at the Don Henderson Memorial Sportsplex in Brookfield recently.

The largest crowd of the season was on hand for an exciting Brookfield Elks come-back win in Nova Scotia Junior Hockey League action. Trailing Eskasoni Eagles 4-2 going into the third period, the Elks exploded for three unanswered goals to take a 5-4 win.

The team’s record has improved to 1-10-1.

Lots of new faces are in the mix for the Elks this season; general manager Steve Crowell has indeed brought in some interesting people.

One of the newcomers is assistant general manager Terry Moser.

“I’d like to see players attracted to playing in Brookfield because they want to see a successful Elks team, both on and off the ice,” said Moser, 51, of Valley. “It would be nice if we could support these players in their education endeavours and athletic endeavours. Brookfield is a wonderful community, centrally located; we have to find a way to showcase a competitive team, a team the fans will come out and support.”

Moser grew up in Debert and Truro Heights and was a promising local minor hockey goaltender. A walk-on tryout with Wayne Maxner’s London Knights was a career highlight; later he joined the Canadian Armed Forces and continued in hockey. After a 25-year career with the Military Police and Edmonton City Police, he is now Security Manager for Atlantic Gold Corporation, main site in Middle Musquodoboit.

Marc Bildstein, the Elks’ first-year head coach, was a defence prospect who played with Drummondville in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. A Timberlea product, he also played junior with Brockville Braves and Sackville Blazers, as well as in Calgary.

Coaching Bedford Blues in midget AA the past two seasons, Bildstein’s club captured the 2016-17 Nova Scotia championship.

“We’re trying to put the best team on the ice possible,” said Bildstein, 35, of Halifax. “You could say we are in a rebuild, we’re trying to get a team for the future. It seems like a struggle but it’s about looking ahead and having a good, competitive hockey team in Brookfield. We’ll take the core kids from this year and we’ll try to add pieces to have a stronger team next year.”

Bildstein recalled playing for Sackville against a strong Elks team.

“The Elks have always been competitors. I’ve been treated well since coming here; we all want to win and get back to having the Elks back up there in league contention.”

It was also good to talk to three first-year players. Jakob Deveau, 18, of Cheticamp is a first-year engineering student at Saint Mary’s University.

The hard-working forward played the past two seasons with Cape Breton Highland Academy in Belle Cote.

“The win was overdue, it was nice to play before a good-sized crowd,” he said. “Everyone was really happy with the win, we’ve been trying all year.”

Will Stewart, 21, a defenceman from O’Leary, P.E.I., is a second-year business student at St. F.X.

“I was traded to Brookfield from the Strait Pirates early in the season. We have a lot of spirit with the team, a lot of potential. With the win over Eskasoni, you could see the team starting to work together.”

Alex Lavoie, 20, a forward from Montreal, is a second-year Saint Mary’s University sociology student.

“I joined the Elks early this season; I had been playing in a men’s league. I’m happy to be playing more competitive hockey. I’ve played roughly six games; we have some great guys, the team spirit is good.”

Mikey Willis, 20, a 6-ft. 2-in., 235-lb. forward from Indian Brook, plans to pursue a career in commercial fishing. A very popular Elks player, Willis is in his fifth season.

“We were all happy for the big win, we wouldn’t give up against Eskasoni. The win should be good for our guys, looking ahead.”

***

It’s exciting as we think about attending the annual Truro Sports Heritage Hall of Fame induction ceremony Friday night, Nov. 9.

The 6.30 p.m. Marigold Cultural Centre event not only pays tribute to deserving inductees, it’s a wonderful opportunity to get together with sports people from the area.

Congratulations to the 1968 football champion Truro Trojans; after 50 years, you deserve a great reunion. Enjoy the night Sue Kay, Becky Bell Routledge, Steve Locke and Terry Baker.

There are still tickets ($15) available. Telephone 902-897-4004.

Lyle Carter’s sports column appears weekly in the Truro News. If you have a story idea, contact him at 902-673-2857.

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