World Junior A Challenge taking place Nov. 4-10 in Yarmouth
OAKVILLE, Ont. – Both John Mullally and Evan MacEachern of the Weeks Crushers have made the Canada East squad for the upcoming World Junior A Challenge, which is scheduled for Nov. 4-10 in Yarmouth.
Evan MacEachern and John Mullally
“I was just thrilled (when I heard they made the team),” said Crushers head coach Jason Malone. “I mean I couldn’t envision two more deserving guys than Evan and Johnny. They work so hard day after day and it’s nice to see their hard work paying off. They deserve all the credit and like I’ve been telling them for a year and a half now, they have a bright future in front of them not only in hockey, but as people as well. I couldn’t be more happy for them.”
A forward, Mullally is seventh in the MHL and second on the Crushers in scoring with nine goals and 17 points in 14 games. MacEachern has two goals and six points in 10 games with Pictou County on the blue line.
Malone said MacEachern’s play both with and without the puck is what has improved the most from the end of the 2012-13 season to now.
“They’re two different players, so I think Evan had a tough first half because I think he put a lot of pressure on himself to be a high-end defenceman for us and a high-end defenceman in the league,” said Malone. “I think his composure has gotten a lot better not only with the puck, but without it. He’s such a nice skater, so smooth and so fun to watch. I can’t picture a more technical skater than Evan. His composure with the puck has definitely improved and away from the puck he’s always great support for his ‘D’ partner.”
He believes Mullally’s confidence this season and his ability to be able to play a number of different roles helped him crack the Canada East roster.
“Last year he battled being a 17-year-old in the league and now you can finally see in his game that he’s more comfortable and is a threat every time he’s on the ice, but more importantly with him he’s at his best when he’s playing a physical game,” said Malone. “I wasn’t really surprised to see Johnny in their lineup because he can play so many different roles. He can be a goal scorer, a fourth-line checker or anything you want him to be. He’s a kid that leads by example. They both definitely deserve to be there.”
Both Mullally and MacEachern will miss the Crushers road trip this weekend to New Brunswick as well their two games next week at home and on the road against Amherst.
“We’ll obviously miss them over the course of our next four games, but it’s a small price to pay for the experience that those two young men are going to get and the exposure they’re going to get not only to the rest of the world in terms of playing, but also some schools,” said Malone. “We would love to see them get a look from them as well, so it’s a small price to pay. I’m sure we have enough depth in our lineup and some guys that can step up and play some bigger roles over the next two weeks.”
Three MHL players, including the pair from the Crushers, were named to the 22-man Canada East roster. Morgan Messenger of the Yarmouth Mariners was the third MHL player named of the seven invited to the selection camp from the league. All three are from Nova Scotia.
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