Despite losing in overtime on Friday night, Jan. 20 and then losing a back and fourth contest with the heavily favoured Deer Lake Red Wings on Saturday, the Port aux Basques Mariners seem to have a new lease on life and with a team that refuses to be outworked.
Surprised is the word that gets tossed around by the fans I’ve spoken to after seeing the teams recent performance. Fans are over the moon with excitement as the Mariners seem to have returned to competitive play after a lackluster performance in the last season before the COVID pandemic.
What stands out the most is the work ethic and commitment to what coaches Juan Strickland and Todd Savory are trying to implement and the team gets noticeably stronger with every practice. A big team on the ice and a youthful enthusiasm that hasn’t been seen in quite some time means the Mariners are hopefully poised for a good year.
Ryan Pittman, a natural center iceman, has become the anchor on defense the team has lacked, and is quietly becoming a fan favorite because of his hard work, his smarts with the puck and being one of the older players on the squad, his leadership becomes invaluable.
The Mariners hit the ice again this past weekend against the veteran laden Deer Lake Red Wings and former Tampa Bay Lightning training camp invitee Brandon Hynes.
For game recaps and more sports, check out Stephen’s column, which is always available free online at https://wreckhousepress.com/