Steve Crowell is up front with anybody who tries out for the Cole Harbour McCain major midget hockey club.
“It’s a hard job to win a scoring race on this team, because I don’t play the same kids on the power play,” the McCain head coach said. “I roll all four lines until late in the year.”
The reward, for those who stuck around long enough to find out, was a Nova Scotia Major Midget Hockey League title and a trip to the Atlantic championship starting today in Gander, N.L.
The McCain finished second overall in the regular season with a 22-10-2-1 record, despite only one player — Stuart Lenehan — in the league’s top 17 scorers. They went 11-3 in the playoffs and swept the favoured Dartmouth Subways in the final.
Crowell’s team prides itself on balance and conditioning, which will come in handy with two games today and four in three days before Sunday’s 1:30 p.m. championship.
“We’re rolling all our players, and come (the championship game) on Sunday, it’s two pretty tired hockey teams,” Crowell said. “The team that’s paid the price going back to last May has the better chance of coming out with a championship.”
Lenehan, Jordan Burke and Jordan Mock are among the team’s offensive leaders, while Crowell described goalie Philip Wright as the team’s “cornerstone” in the final against Dartmouth. Wright and Kody Blois will split the opening-day starts against the St. John’s Maple Leafs and host Central Icepak.