The teacher will meet the student when the Sarnia Legionnaires entertain Lambton Shores in the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League home opener Sept. 17 at the Sarnia Arena. Game time is 7:10 pm.
“I coached him way back in ’89 with the Sarnia Ranson Bees,” said Legionnaires coach Mark Davis of his opposing bench boss, Don Dickson of the Forest-based Predators.
“Great player, great man, good coach,” he added.
It’s always a battle when the two clubs from Lambton County go head-to head, no matter which rink the game is in, Davis said.
“They’re a team that you can’t take lightly. They’ve got some very good talent on that hockey club.”
Davis, who was hired by the Legionnaires in April to replace the outgoing Dan Rose, said Sarnia has a young, fast and committed team this season.
With only six veterans returning from last year’s third-place club, it’s unlikely the team will match the early season success of 2014-15 edition, which came out of the chute with 13 consecutive victories.
But Davis promises that no one in the nine-team league will outwork his charges.
He plans to reward players who give the most in practice and games with the most ice time.
“If we work hard in practice, it’ll carry over to the games and we’ll be successful,” said Davis. “I’m going to push them hard.”
The veteran coach picks last year’s conference finalists, LaSalle and Leamington, as the teams to beat again, but he expects his team to improve game by game.
“I’m open to being a middle of the pack team, (during the regular season) but our goal is to make it the (conference) finals and compete for a Sutherland Cup.”