By Doug Kennedy
It looks like the 2021-22 season of Bulldogs hockey will be exciting to watch. They have a solid mix of younger and veteran players to keep fans entertained. Kincardine general manager Warren Beisel has seven local players signed to play this winter.
A couple Junior B veterans lead the way, with Bryce McFadden and Brendon Long helping a team with 13 rookies to junior hockey. McFadden played a couple years in Listowel, while Long played the last two years in St. Marys. They will be joined by five local first year players from Kincardine. Forwards Liam Colhoun, Wilson Shipp, Jordan Beisel , defenseman Jordan Moulton and goalie Ryan Tanner will join the Bulldogs for their rookie season.
The team looks like it has a solid blue line, with veterans Kent Ribey, Carson English and Joseph Pringle returning. They have a strong rookie class in the blue line with newcomers Austin Waite, Jordan Moulton and Caleb Morrison.
The key addition up front will be Steven Grant, who played for the Listowel Cyclones the last three years. He should be a top scorer in the league.
Head coach Todd Norman thinks his young team will have to bring a solid work ethic to the rink every night to compete. He says the league is always so competitive, with Hanover and Mitchell adding some veteran players and Mount Forest and Wingham always having strong teams. Norman believes after a month into the regular season, he will learn more about his team. He says everyone is so excited to be back at the arena. Joining Norman on the bench this year is Blair Pollock, Russ Sutton and Brett Catto.
The Kincardine Bulldogs played five exhibition games in the last two weeks. They started with Goderich and split the two games. Kincardine won at home 8-1 and Goderich won at home 6-3. They played two games against Walkerton and they won both those games 5-3 and 9-1. The Bulldogs finished up with a 4-3 win in Mount Forest this past Saturday night.
Mitchell looks like the team to beat on paper with Hanover, Mount Forest, Wingham and Kincardine close by for the next four spots. It should make for some great hockey this winter. Walkerton and Goderich will not be far off the pack with the whole league being younger this year.