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Wildcats coach believes future is bright for the team

By Regis Phillips Dec 28, 2023 | 6:17 AM

The Moncton Wildcats have seen success so far this season, according to the team’s head coach.

The Wildcats are currently second in the Maritimes Division behind Halifax and third overall in the Western Conference behind the Mooseheads and Baie-Comeau.

“I think we had a good first 30 games. I like the energy of our group with a good mixture of players with lots of enthusiasm,” said Daniel Lacroix, head coach of the team.

“We’ve grown a lot as a team and I’m looking forward to the rest of the season. 2024 is going to be a good challenge for us to take a step in the right direction in the second half of the season.”

After his playing career was over, Lacroix served as an assistant coach with the Wildcats from 2002 to 2006 and was also interim head coach for a partial season during that time.

In 2006, the team won the QMJHL championship and reached the Memorial Cup final, losing to the Quebec Remparts.

Lacroix would later become an assistant coach in the NHL for nine years. He also served as head coach of the Lithuanian national ice hockey team and Kölner Haie from the Deutsche Eishockey Liga in Germany.

“I’ve been blessed and lucky enough to be in this wonderful game at a high level. I’ve mainly been an assistant coach, which was fine with me, but I love the challenges of being a head coach,” continued Lacroix.

“These kids wanna come in and get better and want to learn. I see the growth in these young men both on and off the ice and that’s the rewarding part of my job.”

Since rejoining the Wildcats in 2019, the team has had playoff success, and Lacroix’s goal will always be to win the Memorial Cup.

“We still have a very young team compared to the other teams around the league, but that doesn’t mean we can win now,” said Lacroix.

“If you ask the players if the head coach wants to win, the answer is yes.”

The Wildcats return to the ice on Thursday night as they take on the Titan in Bathurst.