Lefebvre is already looking to the future, and could hardly contain his excitement about some of the players coming to the team following Valley's win over St. Stephen Jan. 8 in Berwick.
“We've got Johnny Foley coming in from the Charlottetown Islanders this week. He's a kid I've known for a long time, working with him back in the city. We've got Brock MacLeod coming in. He's a Dartmouth kid who was up in Sherbrooke in the QMJHL. Real good solid kid, good solid person. And we've got Jacob Stewart coming in, a goaltender who was in Blainville in the Q,” Lefebvre said.
“Jake simply got caught in a numbers game in Blainville. He was behind arguably the best goaltender in the Quebec league right now and a very capable back up. So he's going to come down and get some quality minutes with us.”
Lefebvre says the rest of the MHL season won't be easy with such a young team, but says the future for the Junior A Wildcats is extremely bright.
“There's going to be some bumps, but with the young guys and the young guys we've got coming in later this week, there is a lot of excitement on shaping this thing in a new direction.”
Win, loss to start 2017
The Valley Junior A Wildcats opened 2017 with a win and a loss.
On Jan. 5, the Wildcats travelled to New Glasgow for the first Maritime Hockey League game of the New Year and fell 8–1 to the league leading Pictou County Weeks Crushers.
The game was close with Pictou County leading 1–0 after the first period, then the Crushers' offense took over in the second period, scoring five more times.
Valley's lone goal came in the middle of the third period off the stick of veteran defenceman Evan Scott.
Greg Maggio surrendered six goals on 39 shots through two periods. Dakota Lund-Cornish, goaltender for the Halifax Macs Major Midgets, played the third period in goal for the Wildcats.
Jacob Hickey led the Crushers with two goals and an assist in the win.
Maggio bounced back Jan. 8 at the Kings Mutual Century Centre in Berwick, as the Wildcats picked up a 5–3 win over the County Aces from St. Stephen, New Brunswick.
The goaltender from Cloverdale, Britsh Columbia stopped 45 shots in the win, and was named the first star of the game.
Once again, Scott led the Wildcats' attack, picking up three assists in the win. Riley Cunningham and Curtis Scales each had a goal and an assist. Cole Harbour Wolfpack Major Midget forward Nick Cullen played his first game with the Junior A Wildcats and scored his first MHL goal, which ended up as the game winner.
Valley assistant coach Andre Lefebvre says Cullen, whose rights were picked up this past week in a trade with the Amherst Ramblers that sent Grant Janes the other way, is a player Valley has had its eye on for a long time.
“We actually brought him to camp last year as a free agent, and he was one of the kids we targeted in the draft but unfortunately we weren't able to get him. He did a real good job for us tonight. It was nice to see him get that goal and show off what he can do.”
If you go: The Wildcats play two games this coming weekend. On Jan. 14, they visit the Amherst Ramblers, starting at 7 p.m. Valley then plays at home in Berwick Jan. 15 at 2 p.m. against the Truro Bearcats.