NEW GLASGOW – James Cooley isn’t a stranger to hockey or the Weeks Crushers, but now he’s getting a different view of the game.
The alumnus to the organization is coming back to the team as an assistant coach.
“I’m mostly looking forward to getting back into the routine, being at the rink and being involved just with the game of hockey in general,” Cooley said.
He attended his first practice as staff on Thursday and will be able to help lead the team in their first game after Christmas on Saturday when they go up against the Bridgewater Lumberjacks.
Cooley played with the Crushers when the team first moved to Pictou County in 2004 from Halifax.
He played with the organization for the 2004/2005 and 2005/2006 seasons.
From there, he went onto UPEI for four years and played for the Panthers.
He’s been living in Charlottetown, P.E.I. until just over a month ago when he moved to Pictou County.
“I took some time away from the game. I’m going to try to slowly work my way back in.”
Cooley says he’s learning as he goes.
He’s especially excited to come onto a team leading in the division.
“(I’m) just looking forward to the great experience and hope we can continue the success in the second half.”
Last time the Crushers faced the CIBC Wood Gundy Lumberjacks was on Nov. 15 when Bridgewater came out on top in a shootout 3-2.
Weeks goalie Brandon Thibeau says they weren’t playing to their full potential that night.
He says they played 20 minutes at their best. For this time, they plan to keep it going for all 60 minutes.
“It’ll have to be a good performance by everyone to show that we’re ready to come for the second half.”
The Lumberjacks are sitting in last place in the league with nine points.
Thibeau will be back in the net for Saturday’s game. His last time in was during the Crushers’ 5-4 win against the Yarmouth Jr. A Mariners on Dec. 13.
“For myself, (it’s) just getting the legs back under me.”
He says he’s not trying to compete with Devan Tremblay, who stopped all 44 shots from the Truro Bearcats on Dec. 19.
He just wants to get back into the net.
The puck drops at 7 p.m. on Jan. 4 at the Pictou County Wellness Centre.
On Twitter: @NGNewsAmanda