By Stephen Dafoe
Gibbons – Saturday night’s Noralta Junior C exhibition game between the Morinville Titans and Gibbons Broncos wasn’t so much a contest between two rival towns’ hockey teams as it was a contest between Titan hopefuls hoping to avoid a red pen through their names on the roster.
But the 5-2 defeat at the hands of the Broncos gave Head coach Jeff Montina and his coaching staff plenty of insight into who was and was not prepared to wear a Titans’ jersey heading into the 2010-2011 season.
“There was definitely some guys that played their way onto the team tonight, but there was definitely a few guys that played their way off this team,” Montina said after Saturday night’s drubbing.
During that game, the Titans managed to fritter away two two-man advantages during the second period, obtaining but one goal during the period on a one-man powerplay advantage.
“The power play wasn’t very good at all,” Montina said of the Titans’ second period. “That’s going to come in time as they play together and gel a little bit more. Overall, it’s kind of what I expected. I thought we’d be a little bit stronger, but it’ll come in time.”
Montina said the team had 38 or 39 players try out for the team this season, a number that was whittled down to 29 before Saturday night’s exhibition game. Another raft of players are scheduled to be cut this week.
The club has a couple skates and an exhibition game left before the regular season opens Oct. 8, when the Titans take on the Rivermen on home ice. Game time is 7:30 p.m. at the Ray McDonald Sports Centre.