Redemption year for CV boys team

  • The ConVal boys hockey team lost 6-5 in overtime to Manchester West on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2012.<br/><br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

    The ConVal boys hockey team lost 6-5 in overtime to Manchester West on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2012.


    (Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

  • The ConVal boys hockey team lost 6-5 in overtime to Manchester West on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2012.<br/><br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

    The ConVal boys hockey team lost 6-5 in overtime to Manchester West on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2012.


    (Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

  • The ConVal boys hockey team lost 6-5 in overtime to Manchester West on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2012.<br/><br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The ConVal boys hockey team lost 6-5 in overtime to Manchester West on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2012.<br/><br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

The ConVal boys ice hockey team will be lacing up the skates Tuesday as the 2013-2014 season gets underway. The Cougars will head to Manchester, to take on Manchester West at JFK Arena; the puck drops at 4:30 p.m.

This is a redemption year for the Cougars, who are coming off a disappointing season in which they recorded just one win in 18 games.

Leadership and the role of impact players will be a key factor for ConVal this season. Head coach Mark Leger believes that he has the right guys to lead his team to victory.

“We will be looking for leadership from our captains, senior forward Jason Haley and junior defenseman Travis Burke. They have done a great job with all the fundraising, they take over part of the practice for me and they have taken full advantage of their role on this team.”

Leger will try to spark things up offensively by placing Burke on a line with last year’s leading scorer, junior forward Erik Leger. In the Cougars one-win season, Leger was still able to post an impressive 20-plus points.

The Cougars will have to do without the talented defenseman Mason Ellis this season, leaving a big hole to fill on the point.

“Mason would be our biggest hole that we have to fill; he’s definitely a solid player and probably our best skater at the time. He handled the puck really well and he was really our quarterback coming out of the zone and helped to create plays,” Leger said.

The game of hockey isn’t always won by the team who hits the hardest and punishes other players. Leger plans to utilize another tactic that could catch teams off guard.

“Speed, we definitely have a lot of team speed and I think we are going to surprise a lot of teams. We have had good practices so far. Our players are smaller but they are very quick. What they lack in size they have in speed,” Leger said.

The Cougars may have the speed to compete for most of the game, but not having the advantage of a full bench can lead to late game fatigue.

“We have a short bench; the lack of players is pretty much our only weakness. It would be nice to have three lines and three sets of defensemen,but we don’t have that luxury,” Leger said.

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