BY SCOTT HADDOW
Sudbury Junior Wolves captain Brian McGarry wants that winning feeling again.
It has been years since the Capreol native last won any kind of a hockey championship (an atom provincial title). In his final year with the Junior Wolves, McGarry is looking to cap his Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League (NOJHL) career with a league title. He also wants a chance to compete at the Dudley Hewitt Cup (Ontario's Junior A championship) and possibly a trip to the Royal Bank Cup (Canada's Junior A championship).
"I would rather win a championship than anything else," said the 20-year-old. "I haven't played hockey my whole life not to succeed. I have been in this league for five years and I want to win it all."
McGarry entered the 2005-06 campaign with championship dreams, but he will be tested every game since he's chasing down an old NOJHL record.
The team captain recently recorded his 300th NOJHL point on Oct. 9 with a one goal, five assist night during a 11-2 romp over Manitoulin.
McGarry stands at 319 career points (131 goals, 188 assists), which puts him just 90 points behind the NOJHL leader, Sudbury Wolves assistant coach Bryan Verreault, who piled up 409 points during his five year career during the 70s and 80s.
McGarry is also just seven goals away from setting a new Sudbury record for most goals in a career. The current record holder is Matt Shanks, who has 138. McGarry is at 131.
"Getting 300 points is a nice accomplishment," said McGarry. "I had talked to Verreault before the season and he told me to go out and break the record. Sure at the end I will be able to say I had a good junior career. It will be something I will be proud of in the future, but again, more than anything, I want to win the championship."
The Junior Wolves are contenders.
"We have the team to win," said the slick forward. "We have a strong offensive group who are also learning to play defence. Our goaltending is
unreal, maybe the best one-two combo in the league and our defence is getting better every day."
Junior Wolves head coach Darryl Moxam asked McGarry to lay it all out on the line this season, and named him captain.
"He's our guy who I have counted on to build our team around offensively," said Moxam. "I knew with the experience he has in this league, he would be our leader on and off the ice, and he has done a great job. Bryan leads by example and brings his work ethic every night. He's our go-to guy. He has the respect of his peers as well. His natural ability offensively is second to none in this league. He could have a long future in hockey if he
McGarry has some regrets about his NOJHL career. The skilled centre wishes he would have taken a more prominent stab at the OHL, when it came knocking on his door three years ago.
"I wish I did go play with the Wolves when they asked me to," said McGarry. "At the time, I had just finished my SATs and was thinking about the NCAA route. I should have went OHL...maybe I would have been drafted to the NHL."
For now, McGarry will continue his assualt on the NOJHL record book and study police foundations at Cambrian College. It remains unclear if he will pursue hockey after the NOJHL.
"I will finish school and see if I still have interest in hockey...maybe I will go play in Europe."