Community Aug 31, 2018 by Laurie Weir Perth Courier
The Perth Blue Wings opened training camp in Carleton Place with 32 players attending all three days of camp at the end of August.
Team meeting and fitness testing took place Friday, Aug. 24 in Perth with players reporting in excellent shape and ready to compete for positions and ice time, noted head coach Michael McLean.
“We have plenty of difficult decisions to make – with so many promising 17- and 18-year-olds in camp,” McLean said. “There is a battle on for the #2 goaltending position behind four-year league all-star veteran goaltender Jonathan Peacock.”
McLean said he always looks forward to opening of training camp as it has a “Christmas morning” feel to it.
“Nothing beats the first weekend of the year when you get to see what kind of hand we have been dealt,” he said. “It is nice to see the new faces along with returning players, staff and volunteers.”
Fist year players Mark McKay, Carson Kazda, Bradley Wells and Ethan Greene have looked very good in practices and scrimmages, the coach said.
“We have some promising rookie defensemen in Keyan Hogan, Jacob Weedmark, Malcolm Brassard, Jensen Tysick and Zach Quinton.”
McLean said he will see how they look during the exhibition games.
Mack Miller will return as team captain again this season.
Other returning players included defensemen Matthew O’Brien, Jacob Cover and Jordan Currie.
Returning forwards include Miller, Nathan MacKechnie, Dylan Sharpley, Shane Carroll, and Tyler Murphy.
McLean said they will need to score goals by committee and play great team defense to win games.
“We added a 20-year-old veteran defenseman in a trade with Renfrew,” McLean said. “We acquired the playing rights to Jacob Steege who is entering his fourth year in the CCHL2. He will help stabilize our young defense group.”
The team will hold their first exhibition game Saturday in Carleton Place at 3:30 p.m. after which time McLean said they would make some cuts.
The second exhibiton game will be Friday, September 7 at 7:30 p.m. against Athens at the Perth Arena. The Blue Wings will then play Athens on Saturday in Athens at 7:00 p.m. and back to Perth on Sunday at 3:00 p.m. against the Carleton Place Jr Canadians.