A Telus Cup warm-up for the Nickel Capital Wolves
by Randy Pascal
With three full weeks to go before the start of the 2018 Telus Cup in Sudbury, there is simply no downplaying the importance of this week's
OHF Central Region Midget "AAA" Championships for the Sudbury Nickel Capital Wolves.
"We wanted to stay on the ice and play the best teams from all around Ontario," said rookie forward Brett McGlade. "We wanted to see the best
teams. It's going to be an eye-opener, for sure, to see how we might be able to do in the Telus."
Playing in a league that doesn't always offer the type of high-end competition that would make for ideal preparation for the teams who move on beyond
the GNML (Great North Midget League), the Telus Cup hosts could ill-afford a three week layoff prior to attempting to crank it up, several notches,
in front of family and friends in late April.
"I think we need to get into good habits, throughout the week, because I think it's going to be the same during the week of the Telus Cup," noted veteran
Parker Savard. "The speed is going to be very fast, and we need to adjust."
On a positive note, the challenge that was the North Bay Trappers was critical, as the Sudbury lads somehow found a way to emerge victorious in
three consecutive outings that could easily have gone either way.
"Our heart and our hustle really pushed us over the edge," said Savard. "We really bought into the systems – our power play and our penalty kill,
obviously, but also how we forecheck, how we pressure the other team through all three zones."
Part of that necessary "buy-in" to which Savard alludes is the ability for each and every player to fully accept their role, understanding the key
attributes that they must bring to the forefront, each and every game, in order to help achieve team success.
"They look for me to go into the corners, get into those dirty areas, for sure, and come out with the puck," said McGlade, pretty much the prototypical
definition of a power forward. "I have to look to get it to the defence and then go hard to the net."
The 16 year old grade 11 student at St Charles College has worked hard to focus on his skills, acknowledging that the home venue for the Nickel
Caps does not always play into his strengths as a player.
"Out here, it's a big ice surface," said McGlade. "I've got to always keep my feet moving, I can't be gliding anywhere on the ice, always go, go go.
Backchecking, you just put your head down and go. Those first three strides are very important."
No easing into the Central Regionals for the NOHA representatives, kicking off play on Monday at noon opposite the Toronto Nationals, the first of
five round robin games between now and Friday.
The balance of the Sudbury schedule is as follows:
Tues., April 3rd at 3:00 p.m.
vs Waterloo Wolves
Wed., April 4th at 3:00 p.m.
vs Ajax-Pickering Raiders
Thurs., April 5th at 7:00 p.m.
vs Rockland Nationals
Fri., April 6th at 12:00 p.m.
vs Hawksbury Hawks