Bonavista’s Scott Trask hopes to end his junior hockey career with a national championship.
After spending the previous three seasons with the Moncton Wildcats of the QMJHL, the rugged left-winger was released this summer to join the Maritime Junior Hockey League’s Summerside Capitals – who will host the RBC Cup national junior A hockey championship this spring.
“I’m hoping to get three rings this year,” says Trask, 21. “We want to win the league title, the Fred Page Cup (Eastern Canada championship) and the RBC Cup. We don’t want to just back into the (national) final as the host team.”
Trask was an assistant captain for the Wildcats last season and much to his surprise was named captain of the Capitals in the off-season.
“I was honored to be named captain, especially with us hosting the RBC,” says Trask.
“I was quite surprised. But the coach (Billy McGuigan) drafted me as a first-rounder when he was with Miramichi (in the Maritime league) four years ago so he knew me well. He is also good friends with my trainer Ryan Power and Ryan told him lots of good things about me. It’s unusual to be named captain of a team in your first year but I think he was comfortable with me.”
Trask, a self-professed “fourth-line Newf”, according to his twitter account, is actually playing on the top two lines in the Maritime league, considered a tier below the QMJHL.
“The coach still wants me to play the same defensive style I played in Moncton but he’s given me more responsibility on the offensive side,” says Trask.
“He’d like me to get 20 goals this year and is giving me lots of time on the top two lines and the powerplay.”
Trask is already half way to his coach’s expectations with 10 goals and 14 points in only 24 games. Included in those totals was a four-goal, five-point outburst in the Caps’ fourth game of the season versus Miramichi.
The six-foot, 193-pounder says while the MJHL is not considered major junior hockey, the calibre of play is strong nonetheless.
“Unlike the Q teams which have only three 20-year-olds in their line-ups, teams in the Maritime league can have as many as nine,” he says. “So the players here are bigger and stronger.
“An average player in the Quebec league is not going to come down here and dominate. A superstar might but not the average player. It’s an underrated league. There’s a thin line between this league and the Q.”
While Trask’s junior career will come to an end this season, he hopes to continue his hockey career in the Atlantic Universities Hockey Conference next season. Trask plans to study kinesiology as a student-athlete and has been taking courses on-line at Acadia University in Wolfville, N.S. Does that mean he’ll be wearing Acadia colours next season?
“I’ve been in contact with a few (university) teams but I’d prefer not to say whom at this point. I’m happy to play anywhere (in the AUHC).”
Keeping with the MJHL and the aforementioned Fred Page Cup, former Buchans Miners, Gander Flyers and Conception Bay CeeBees netminder Lyle Carter was recently named honorary chairperson of the tournament which will determine the eastern entry to the Royal Bank Cup.
This year’s Fred Page Cup will be held May 1st –5th in Truro. Nova Scotia. Carter is from nearby Brookfield and writes a pair of weekly columns for the Truro Daily News.
After leaving the Newfoundland Senior Hockey League, Carter played professionally from 1967-1975, including a stint in 1971-72 with the NHL’s California Golden Seals.
If the Conception Bay CeeBees claim the Newfoundland Senior Hockey League title this season they may look back on Tuesday, November 27th as the turning point.
That was the day the CeeBees dealt import goalie Charles Levigne to make room for another import, free-agent sniper Chris Huilt.
A native and resident of Sault Ste Marie, Ont. Huilt finished second in NSHL scoring last season with the Clarenville Caribous but apparently the team was unwilling to allow him to miss games due to work commitments (Hulit works in corporate development with the Soo Greyhounds of the Ontario Hockey League).
CeeBees coach/general manager Corey Crocker, however, is prepared to make such a sacrifice.
“For us, if you have the opportunity to add another forward with his scoring ability, you jump on it,” says Crocker, who is currently away from the team to be with his wife and new-born daughter.
Both Hulit and Crocker are expected to join the CeeBees for a home game, December 7th versus, appropriately enough, the Clarenville Caribous.
Dave Salter has nearly 25 years experience as sports writer for publications such as The Telegram and Halifax Daily News. He is currently a reporter for Rogers Television’s St. John’s IceCaps broadcasts, a freelancer for publications such as The Hockey News and is a part-time scout for the Cincinnati Cyclones of the ECHL.