The Big Three: Kimber, Zimmer and Horman expected to lead Cougars’ offense
Cougars men’s hockey kicks off Oct. 9 at Centennial Arenas with a bigger team, both in stature and numbers.
With a 26-man roster and a highly anticipated first line, the team is looking to better their last seasons’ results.
In a September interview with The Reflector, head coach Jean Laforest said that the teams’ biggest strength would be experience in the locker room and with 16 returning players from last season that leaves no doubt.
Expected to lead the way for the Cougs is captain Josh Zimmer. He’ll be sharing the top line with returning teammate Dustin Kimber and new to the team Barry Horman.
“I want them (the top line) to lead us offensively,” said Laforest.
Zimmer added, “We’re expected to provide offence, hopefully we can do the job.”
Laforest had nothing but praise for the play and work ethic of captain Zimmer, saying that with the extremely successful moments he’s had with the team, to losing out in the first round that “his (Zimmer’s) experience is absolutely invaluable th
Laforest added that as a coach, Zimmer is definitely the role model he’d like to have on the team with the forward working full time while going to school and playing hockey.
The five-foot-nine Cochrane native is also the first to praise his fellow teammates. Zimmer said he was excited about the guys returning to the team as well as the new players and that the Cougars this year, “have the best goaltending in the league.”
Horman comes to the Cougars after playing two years of semi-pro in Arizona. Before that the six-foot-one, 198-pound business student played for three years with U of C. Horman had a few practices with the Cougars at the end of last season and said he is really excited to be playing with his new linemates.
“We’re excited to have Barry on the line to start the year,” said Zimmer who is already comfortable playing with Kimber as they shared a line last season.
“We have some good chemistry going on,” said Kimber of his linemates, adding that he’s “pretty confident” going into the upcoming season and that the team has a great coaching staff.
In terms of how Zimmer, Kimber and Horman will mesh while playing, Laforest explained that they will support each other and aren’t afraid to go into the corners.
“All three of them can make plays and all three of them can finish.”
The team is going with a 26-man roster this season to boost the depth of the team. Laforest said last season due to injuries and suspensions there were only three or four lines for some games and by the third period the shorter rotations would cause some “wear and tear on the players”.
As for Zimmer, Kimber and Horman, they all cited that their main goal is to come away with the championship this season.