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Veteran Blues player Tyler Gould in action. Gould played his entire career in Cumberland County and will play his final game tonight in Springhill.
AMHERST – Four years… Four years of wins, losses, friends and hockey. As the Cumberland County Blues finish up their season, the team also has to say goodbye to veteran player Tyler Gould.
“Tyler has a lot of history with the hockey team,” said Blues’ head coach Rob McLure. “It’s always hard saying goodbye to a guy. It’s an interesting departure though. He’s finishing up in school, he’s been one of my leaders on the team, so I kind of feel like it’s a big stepping stone in his life. He’ll be graduating.”
McLure said Gould’s experience has had a big impact on the team but, it’s still one more player to say goodbye to.
“I’m happy. It’s a big change in the development of Tyler as a young man. At the same token, I just met him a year ago and I’m going to miss him,” he said.
Tonight’s game will be the last time fans will see Gould on the ice, but maybe not the last time they’ll see him at the rink. Gould said having to say one final goodbye will be hard.
“It’s not the best feeling in the world,” he said. “But, I’ve had a pretty good few years there. I’ve met a lot of people.”
There are a lot of things Gould said he will miss about being apart of the Blues, aside from being on the ice. He said he enjoyed being out in the community, reading to the younger students and helping younger kids learn to skate. He said he’d also miss all his friends and teammates.
“I’m going to miss just being there for all the events that happen in Springhill and just Springhill in general,” he said. “I spent of lot of time in the last four years there.”
During his time as a Blue, Gould had the chance to travel with the Blues when they won the Atlantic Championships. Even though he did not get the chance to play, he said it was still an honour to celebrate with them.
“It was incredible,” he said. “I think playoff hockey in general is the highlight of every year. I know we didn’t make it this year but, the past two years the playoff runs have been very exciting. They bring a whole new intensity.”
Gould said ‘it sucks’ not being able to see his team to the playoffs one last time. Despite not being able to see one last playoff run, Gould said he had a lot of good times.
“It’s unfortunately but I guess you can’t win every year, and you can’t be good every year,” said Gould. “Sometimes, you have to rebuild, start from the bottom and go back up. I wish we had made the playoffs, but it’s the only year in my career that we didn’t.”
During his time with the Blues, Gould had the chance to be traded but refused because, he said, he started playing in Springhill and that was where he wanted to finish.
In his final year with the Blues, Gould was made team captain.
“Not everyone can say that they were the captain of their team, or their junior hockey team for that matter, it was a pretty big honour,” he said.
Gould said he would like to extend thank yous to a few deserving people. He said his Blues coach, Dave Hyatt, gave him his chance to become part of the team. Gould said Hyatt helped him become the player he is today. Gould also wanted to thank the Blues’ current coach, Rob McLure.
“He’s a great man, he’d do anything for you. Although the team may not have been the best, he always put a positive spin on this and I thank him for that,” said Gould.
Gould also wanted to thank the town of Springhill. He said the town has been his home for the last four years and he said he’s going to miss going to their rink every Friday night.
Gould and the rest of the Blues go into their final NSJHL game of the season tonight in Springhill against the Valley Maple Leafs.
The Leafs are still fighting for a playoff spot in the tightly contested Fred Fox Division, where five points separate the first place Brookfield Elks and the fifth place St. Margaret’s Bay Ducks.
The Maple Leafs go into the game in fourth place with 37 points and a loss to the Blues would hurt their chances of making the playoffs.
The Blues were eliminated from the playoffs last Sunday by the Pictou County Scotians.
The Blues will also honor defenceman Nicholas Doucette at tonight’s game. He was obtained at Christmas from the East Hants Penguins.
Doucette won the Nova Scotia Junior B Championship as a member of the East Hants Penguins and has played four years in the NSJHL.