It has been seven years — the 2012-2013 campaign — since the Timmins Majors of the Great North Midget Hockey League finished the regular season at the .500 mark.
And it has been 11 years — the 2008-2009 season — since Timmins finished above the .500 level.
But here it is, the 2019-2020 season, and the Majors are within range of that elusive .500 mark.
With third-year head coach Brandon Perry at the helm, Timmins has a record of 14-15-2 with seven games to go on the regular season schedule.
And the Majors — who have won three straight games — can get to the .500 mark with a road win over their arch-rival New Liskeard Cubs on Sunday afternoon. New Liskeard has a respectable record of 13-17-2 under head coach Steve Polyblank as the Cubs have greatly improved their program from the past few seasons.
As for Timmins and the strides it has made this season — the Majors had a record of 10-25-1 in 2018-2019 — aforementioned bench boss Brandon Perry told Hockey News North that he “gives a lot of credit to this group … I love coaching them.
“It’s been an up and down year … we’ve been fairly streaky. I am hopeful that this weekend is a good indicator of what’s to come for us,” Perry relayed.
The Majors were able to sweep a three-game road trip last weekend despite illness and injuries, which speaks to the resolve of team, Perry noted.
“It would be hard to find one healthy guy on the roster last weekend. The flu bug hit us hard, we have multiple players battling through bumps and bruises and to come away with six points in a tough road trip certainly speaks to the character of our group,” said the 31-year old Perry, who captained the Majors during his own midget playing days.
“Hopefully we can continue this and get hot here down the stretch. With the lengthened schedule it’s a time of year where guys may be getting tired, maybe focusing on what’s next and I think it’s super important that we stay in the moment, focusing on each day, getting better each day and be playing our best hockey come playoff time, the second weekend of March. We are an excited, motivated group,” Perry added.
While being a .500 team would be nice, Perry also sees the big picture.
“Being at .500 isn’t the ultimate goal but it’s a good indication of where our program has been in recent years and to see how far we’ve come … so to get to that level and hopefully surpass it would be a nice feather in our cap.
“Some people may laugh and think it’s insignificant but we are a proud, hard-working group and every game has been a battle for us,” concluded the hard-driven Perry.