Blackmore, of Millbrook, joined the Bearcats for the post-season after his major midget Pictou County Weeks were eliminated from the playoffs.
The 17-year-old stepped right into the lineup and never once looked out of place. He scored nine goals and added five assists in 15 playoff games and played a key role in bringing Truro its fourth MHL championship.
“That kid’s an excellent hockey player,” said Evans, who made Blackmore a territorial draft pick last June. “I don’t know what his future holds, but his future’s bright. We wouldn’t be the champions without G Blackmore, and a kid like him, he deserves full marks.”
Blackmore worked his way to the top line with the Bearcats. In Game 7 on Friday, he played top minutes, centering veteran players Kyle Tibbo and Nic Blanchard. Evans had the trio on the ice every third shift during crunch time as the Bearcats earned a 4-3 win.
Blackmore’s story is of perseverance. He was cut from Weeks Major Midgets in 2014-15, before making the team the following season. Last September, he attended training camp with the junior A Bearcats, but was sent back to midget.
Instead of hanging his head, he was motivated to work harder and continued to improve his game. The result was a Nova Scotia Major Midget Hockey League scoring title and league MVP award.
His efforts didn’t go unnoticed at the next level. The Moncton Wildcats of the Quebec major junior league signed him as a free agent in January. He played in eight games with the Wildcats and acquitted himself well with a goal and four assists.
When his midget season ended in Pictou County in mid-March, the Bearcats were happy to have him for their playoff run.
“The kid’s earned everything he’s got,” Evans said. “We wouldn’t have won without his goals, his effort and the confidence, that as the playoffs went on, that his teammates had in him.”