BCR hockey team off to great start, despite injuries

By Steve Smith - Staff Writer
Vernon/Bolton/Coventry - posted Mon., Jan. 20, 2014
Senior Eddie Bates hits the ice in an effort to keep the puck in the BCR 3-0 win over Hall-Southington on Jan. 19. Photos by Steve Smith.
Senior Eddie Bates hits the ice in an effort to keep the puck in the BCR 3-0 win over Hall-Southington on Jan. 19. Photos by Steve Smith.

The Bolton/Coventry/Rockville hockey team, known as BCR, improved to 6-2 after a 3-0 win over Hall-Southington on Jan. 17. BCR had dropped a 4-3 overtime game to the very same team just two days prior. Coach Christian Stevenson said he wasn’t sure how his team would fare this year, after losing the Division II final, 1-0, to Newington-Berlin-Manchester last season, but he said he feels like it’s off to a great start.

“It’s a comeback year,” he said. “You never know how you’re going to do.”

While BCR lost several key players to graduation, including goalie Cam Earle, Stevenson said the team also retained a solid core group, and is again senior-heavy, and the defense is playing well, helping the new goalies succeed. What’s worked for the team is that there is a bunch of overall talent. The defense is playing well, but there is actually a bit of a rough patch going on now, with several players out with injury or illness, making some of the lines a little “patchwork” at times.

“We’re really scrambling right now,” he said. “It looks like the wounded war brigade out there sometimes, between the stomach bugs and the kids we have out for a few weeks.” Stevenson said he spoke to his players who are stepping up and filling in, telling them that the injured players are rooting for them, and want them to play well.

Another key will be increasing the camaraderie on the ice. While there are several talented players, Stevenson said, they haven’t spent a lot of time together in the rink - something that will obviously increase as the season continues.

“We need to have our new lines gel,” he said. “I’ve got people playing together, but not playing together. That’s something we’re struggling with. I don’t think we’ve really gelled as a team yet, but once we do that, we’ll be somebody to reckon with.”

That camaraderie will hopefully help the team weather the winter injury storm, and help set the team up for another playoff run.

“We may have been under the radar,” he said. “If we get through these bumps and injuries, we’ll be able to get into the tournament and roll the dice with everybody else.”

BCR hosts Conard on Jan. 24 and Tolland-Windham-E.O. Smith on Jan 30. For a complete schedule, visit www.ciacsports.com.

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