CONCEPTION BAY NORTH, NL
NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR
The Tri Pen Osprey are preparing for a new hockey season in the provincial major-midget league with a new crew in the management positions, including a new head coach.
For five whole seasons, Dawn and Scott Akerman, as well as Paul Sheppard, have served as the backbone of the team as operators and coaches. In 2016, they signed a two-year contract with an optional third year, but the group decided last season would be its last. That meant the Newfoundland and Labrador Major Midget Hockey League was on the lookout for some new faces to take over the franchise.
It didn’t take too long before the team was seeing some interest, and in early August of 2018, the Osprey announced that Brian Cranford would be taking the team under his wing as head coach for the 2018-19 season, with assistant coaches Ryan Morgan and Carl Dohey, with David Kennedy serving as the team’s Director of Operations.
“It’s a cyclical thing – coaches come and go, but I think we’re in good hands this year,” said Kennedy of the management change.
Although the final day of tryouts for the Osprey was scheduled to be Saturday, Sept. 1, the team had to do some schedule shifting to accommodate one last tryout session the following Saturday, Sept. 8, due to the late acquisition of the team this year. Despite this, Kennedy told The Compass the Osprey are looking good thus far, with a solid roster of newcomers and returning players alike.
“From the get go, things were looking pretty good – we’ve got three returning players that have played for Team NL in the past, so defensively we definitely think that we’re a pretty strong team,” Kennedy said. “Also, we’ve got Riley Petten in the net – Riley’s gonna be the top goalie. He played on the provincial team for a couple years, too, so I think so far things are looking good for the team.”
After finalizing the team’s roster following the Sept. 8 tryout session, the Tri Pen Osprey are heading to St. John’s only a week later for their first on-ice game of the season, facing off against the East Coast Blizzard.