Grand Falls-Windsor Cataracts general manager Paul Glavine likes the idea of ending the provincial senior hockey season on a positive note.
The Cataracts, just off a five-game loss to Clarenville Caribous in the Herder Memorial Trophy final, will have that chance when they represent the Atlantic region at the 2012 Allan Cup in Lloydminster, Sask., April 16-21.
The Cats earned the right to represent the province in national competition after winning last year’s Herder championship.
The club has picked up defencemen Brad Woods from the Corner Brook Royals and Michael Dyke from the Conception Bay North CeeBee Stars along with C.B.N. forward Matthew Thomey for the Allan Cup. Glavine says the team will select an additional forward in the next few days.
The entire squad won’t get together for a full practice until it arrives in Lloydminster, which isn’t the best possible situation but one the team is used to dealing with.
In the meantime, Glavine said those players in the Grand Falls-Windsor area will get together for a couple of skates over the next week.
“It’s tough because we have a portion of the team here, in St. John’s and Halifax and a few sprinkled around Ontario.”
As difficult as that is, Glavine points out it really isn’t any different than the regular season.
“Obviously the employment and schooling opportunities are not in Grand Falls-Windsor right now, so a lot of our players who are native to the Central Newfoundland area live somewhere else. So, unfortunately, we got to practice a scattered Friday night and Saturday morning all season.
Glavine said he is “certainly happy” with the players he’s been able to add for the Allan Cup.
"We touched base with those who might be available come April and of that initial list we are certainly happy with who we were able to get,” he said.
Glavine said there’s no extra pressure on his team to win the Allan Cup, won last year by the Clarenville Caribous.
“It’s a tournament format and anything can happen,” he said. “We’re just going in with a positive attitude. We’ve talked to guys from Clarenville who were there last year and we believe the provincial representatives certainly have the ability to compete on the national level.”
Glavine said his team will use the tough Herder Cup final, which they lost in five games to the Caribous, as a bit of a motivation at the Allan Cup.
“Not very often does a team lose a championship and then get a chance to win one in the same season. It’s a unique situation and hopefully we can use that to our benefit,” he said.
The Atlantic region representative Cataracts are in a division with South East Prairie Thunder and Rosetown Red Wings from Saskatchewan. Division 2 includes host Lloydminster Border Kings as well as the representatives from Pacific and Ontario regions.
The Cats open April 17 against the Thunder and play the Red Wings the following day.