TRURO, N.S. – The Truro Bearcats’ roster is beginning to take shape.
Shawn Evans, the team’s head coach and general manager, has the roster pared down to three goalies, eight defencemen and 13 forwards heading into a pair of Maritime Junior Hockey League pre-season games this week against the Pictou County Crushers.
“Some final decisions to make, we’re still looking to see if we can add to our roster, all of the same stuff really as probably everyone else,” said Evans, when asked for an update on his team.
Evans and his coaching staff had the opportunity to watch players perform in game action during a pair of recent exhibition games against the South Shore Lumberjacks and Valley Wildcats last Saturday and Sunday. Following the contests, he trimmed his roster from 28 to the 24 he currently has in camp.
Among those cut were returning defencemen Trey Faulkner and Camdon Langlois. One notable addition on the back end is that of Zac Welsh, who was sent to Truro by the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles of the Quebec major junior league. Welsh was a second-round pick of the Eagles, 33rd overall, at the QMJHL draft in June.
Up front, second-round draft pick Lucas Parsons will skate for the Bearcats this season, while Truro’s first-rounder, Keiran Gallant, has made the Charlottetown Islanders of the Q-league team.
Between the pipes, Alec MacDonald and Aidan Dunford remain in camp, while new acquisition Sébastien Plamondon is currently sidelined with a broken knuckle.
“To this point, I’m very encouraged,” said Evans. “I like the group, I like the culture that I’m starting to see and my two older guys here, Ben Higgins and G Blackmore, are doing a great job setting the tone early here for the team, which is really, really important.”
Truro 7, South Shore 2
The Bearcats scored five unanswered goals in the second and third periods and cruised to victory in their first MHL exhibition game of the 2019-20 season.
Second-year forward Cole Julian fired a pair of goals for the winners, while Spencer Blackwell, Brandon Knight, Lucas Parsons and Tanner Greatorex had others. Curtis Heffernan added two assists and Lauchie MacDonald had three helpers. Carter McClusky scored both goals for the visiting Lumberjacks.
Alec MacDonald played nets for Truro and made 24 saves.
Truro 3, Valley 2 (OT)
Caleb Hart scored the winner just 23 seconds into overtime to give the Bearcats a road victory.
Truro tied it late, as Carson Lanceleve found the back of the net with just 1:47 left in the final period. Brandon Knight had the other goal for the Bearcats, who were outshot 31-27.
MacDonald and Aidan Dunford split goaltending duties for the Bearcats.
Sept. 5 – Truro at Pictou County, 7 p.m.
Sept. 7 – Pictou County at Truro, 7 p.m.