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Sports Scene: Road trip

It was back during the early 1990s that an exceptional young goaltender in the South Colchester Minor Hockey Association grabbed my attention.

Coach Josh Bezanson and his son, goaltender Ja-Mychal Cartwright, have an exciting hockey trip coming up during July when they head to New Hampshire for a hockey school. Lyle Carter photo.

Josh Bezanson played peewee and bantam hockey at the Sportsplex in Brookfield the seasons I watched him play. I remember wondering some time later, “What ever happened to the Bezanson kid? Where did that good young goaltender go?”

After all these years we crossed paths about two weeks ago. It made for a good feeling when I learned that an exciting coaching opportunity had been dropped in Bezanson’s lap. HOA (Hockey Opportunities For All of New England) contacted Bezanson and invited him to be an assistant coach for July 13-19 at a hockey school at a resort in White Mountains, New Hampshire. It was an all expenses paid event.

“It was a bit of a surprise to learn they were looking for some coaches,” Bezanson, 34, of Onslow Mountain, said. “With them having my name down – I felt pretty good.”

Jack Finlay, one of the owners of the New England based school, reached Bezanson during early March.

“I’m really looking forward to the opportunity of working with kids from both Canada and the United States. It definitely should be a real good experience.”

Bezanson’s first minor hockey was played in North Rustico, P.E.I. At 12 years-of-age he moved with his family to Stewiacke and promptly joined the SCMHA.

He played midget A with the Truro Bearcats in 1997-98 before playing junior C in Debert the next season. “After that I only played some pickup hockey,” he said.

It was around the same time period that Bezanson helped his father, Bill, coach a minor hockey team out of Debert. In recent years, with his son Ja-Mychal Cartwright developing as a fine young goaltender, Bezanson has returned to coaching. A regular these days at the Rath Eastlink Community Centre, Bezanson coaches the Colchester Bantam Barracudas.

“I really enjoy coaching the spring hockey. Last year I coached peewee and like this year the kids involved really want to improve as hockey players,” he said. “It’s AA hockey for kids who want to take their game to a higher level.”

Bezanson’s son Ja-Mychal, one of the Barracuda’s goaltenders, has also been invited to attend the New Hampshire hockey school.

They’ll make a family event of it, with his parents, his wife and her parents making the trip. The family has always been a big supporter of Ja-Mychal, he said.

Ja-Mychal, 13, said he is excited and that he’s looking forward to meeting some new friends.

“I’m certainly looking forward to it,” the 2014-15 Truro Bearcats bantam A player, said. “I’ve never really traveled on a bus with a bunch of hockey players so it sounds like a lot of fun… I see this as a good opportunity to learn more about goaltending and to get better. From the first chance I got to play goal I liked it. I like to stop pucks, I enjoy stopping the shooter.”

For Josh, an employee of Peter Kohler Windows, there’s also another important summer coaching date circled in on his calendar. During August he will travel to Boston to coach a Young Guns select team, which will be representing teams from around Nova Scotia.

Note: 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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