Josh Maguire will be able to fulfill his goal of vying for a national championship in his hometown.
Maguire, who was born in Cobourg, had spent the previous four seasons playing for the Ontario Hockey League’s Peterborough Petes.
Maguire, who served as the Cougars’ captain, decided to join the Cobourg franchise because as the host team it was guaranteed a spot in the 2017 RBC Cup, the national Junior A tournament.
The Cougars will be one of five entrants in the Canadian tourney, which runs May 13-21.
“It’s such a big deal for this town,” Maguire said. “I think I’d regret if I didn’t play in this tournament. I think it’s something they’ll still be talking about here in 20 years.”
Maguire, a 20-year-old left winger, had been an assistant captain with the Petes during the 2015-16 campaign. And no doubt he would have played a huge leadership role with the Peterborough club had he returned there this season.
But once he knew Cobourg would be hosting the RBC Cup, Maguire is the one who approached Cougars’ GM Brent Tully asking if he could come along for the ride.
“I’ve had a lot of people ask me: ‘Do you regret your decision?,’” said Maguire.
“Not a chance.”
Maguire averaged more than a point per game with the Cougars. He earned 57 points (16 goals and 41 assists) in 53 regular season contests.
But the OJHL playoffs did not go as well as Maguire or the Cougars would have liked.
Maguire was sidelined after breaking his left hand during Cobourg’s second-round series against the Wellington Dukes.
The Cougars then had their hopes for an OJHL championship come to an end when they were swept in four games by the Trenton Golden Hawks in their best-of-seven conference series.
The good news for Maguire though is that his injury has healed and he will be able to compete in the RBC Cup tournament.
“It feels good,” he said. “I can’t believe how fast it healed.”
Maguire had been fitted with a removable cast so he could do some physio during his recovery period.
He added had the Cougars advanced to the OJHL championship series, he would have found a way to play in those matches.
Though the Cougars haven’t played a game since early April, Maguire said his team is ready to compete for a national title.
“In our practices we have a lot of jump,” he said. “The guys are glad they have an opportunity for redemption. We have a second chance.”
The other participants for the five-team RBC Cup event are being determined this week at various regional tournaments.
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