Still spots open on junior C hockey team as training camp breaks
COURTESY OF DEBBIE BRADLEY PHOTOGRAPHY
Otters’ head coach Monty Clouthier (standing) addresses the players during the training camp for the junior C hockey team.
HUNTSVILLE - The long, arduous sessions that comprised the Huntsville Otters’ training camp are over.
Now the hard stuff really begins.
With the team virtually selected for the 2012-2013 Georgian Bay Mid Ontario Junior C Hockey League season, the coaching staff for the Otters now begins to put into practice their game plan for the coming year.
Players were put through their paces over the previous two weekends to see if they have the basics to play … now they will have to show the coaching staff they can actually play at a junior level.
The Otters concluded their training camp at the Don Lough Arena over the weekend and will now focus of getting the team ready. “We are starting to implement the team systems right now,” said head coach Monty Clouthier. “We want to work on breakouts and things like that … we will see who catches on and who gets our last few spots.”
In addition to the eight the team has already signed – Jordan Harris, Carter Tracey, Jack Campbell, Landan Peleikis of Bracebridge; Brodie Muckler, Ben Muckler, Andrew Cooke of Huntsville; Connor Scott of Parry Sound – the Otters made commitments to Huntsville residents Jon Treadwell, Casey Groomes, Eric MacPherson, Brandon Quan, Justin House, Shawn Fraser, Port Carling native Jay Dix and Marcus McKinnon of Emsdale.
“They haven’t been signed to cards but they will be signed,” Clouthier said in reference to the players the team has committed to sign for this year.
With the 16 players locked up for the season, the Otters still have about six places left to fill.
There are still around five forwards, three defencemen and two goalies fighting for the last spots on the team.
“We plan to sign 22 players before the start of the year, and dress 20 players for every game with two spares,” the head coach stated.
MacPherson, 21, comes to the team as its only overager to date, after spending the past three seasons with the South Muskoka Shield of the Greater Metro Junior A Hockey League.
He had his best season last year with the Shield, notching 15 goals and 35 points in 42 games.
Clouthier said the team may sign another overage player, but the team is still in talks with the player, who is from the Huntsville area.
“We were allowed four overagers, but if this other player comes, we will go with just the two.”
“We are going to be a fast team,” he added. “We are going to use as much speed as we can. Our goaltending will be solid and we are looking at Landan as our starter. It is his job to lose. He will be our number one guy. Our defence, (assistant coach) Ron Holinshead has a good system to match our blueline. We are not deep in defence, but I think every team in the league has that issue. Defencemen are hard to come by but we are happy with the ones we have.”
The team will practice every Wednesday and on weekends until the start of the season, which comes on Sept. 14 when they travel to Penetang to take on the Kings. The Otters are back home on Sept. 16 for their first game, when they meet the Kings in a rematch.
The Otters are in the league’s North Division with Midland and Penetang.