Wildcats' goalie, Blade Mann-Dixon, left, with Brady Atwater
The Junior A Wildcats may be without their starting goalie when they face off against the Campbellton Tigers Dec. 6 and the Miramichi Timberwolves Dec. 7.
Blade Mann-Dixon was taken off the ice with a shoulder injury during the Nov. 30 game against Summerside.
“He’s day to day,” said head coach Nick Greenough. “He’s seeing the doctor again this week, so we’ll have a better idea, but his shoulder is dislocated again. It could be two to six weeks. We’re hoping to get him rehabbed again quickly.”
Mann-Dixon has been a force to be reckoned with so far this year, with an 8-7-1 record and 943 minutes of play.
“It’s a big loss for us, he’s been playing well and it’s been a great year so far for him,” Greenough said. “But I’m confident (back-up goalie) Bobby (Palzer) will do well and hopefully the boys will rally around him. Unfortunately, injuries are part of the game.”
The Wildcats will also be down one of their top scorers as well. Grant Janes, who has had six goals and 10 assists so far this season, has been called up to the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. The Kingston native played his first game for the Acadie-Bathurst Titan Dec. 4.
“It was his first game and he did very well,” Greenough said. “We’re unsure of his status at this time – whether he’s going to stay up full-time or whether he’ll be back playing for us. But he’s got his foot in the door now, and if he doesn’t stay up full-time right now, I’m sure he’ll be called up again. That’s our goal, to help our players advance.”
The Wildcats are coming off a tough weekend, where they lost three home games in three days.
“We were tired, three and three games are tough,” Greenough said. “Physically and mentally, it’s a tough stretch. We played well enough that I think we could’ve won if we’d scored some goals. We can’t depend on our defence and our goalie to win games for us.”
The offence, said Greenough, will be a key focus in the coming days for the team.
“We’ve got to get our offence to step up their game and score some goals,” he said. “We’re right in the middle of the pack in terms of the standings. If we could get a winning streak going, we could move up in the standings. We’ve got a lot of guys in their last year of junior and we want to make sure we go as far as we can in the playoffs for them.”
While there have been a number of trades in other teams of the MHL in the past few days, there aren’t any pending yet for the Wildcats. That could change, Greenough said.
“We’re looking,” he said. “That’s part of junior hockey. We don’t have anything yet, but if we see something that can help us get better – and not just for today, but something that would make the club better in the future – we might do something. It would be the offence we’re considering right now, that’s where we’re lacking.”