When Josh Maguire takes to his hometown ice to play for a national championship this week he won’t take it for granted. That’s because he came eerily close to losing the opportunity.
After four years with the Peterborough Petes, Maguire decided to give up any thoughts of an overage season in the OHL to go home and play for the tier II junior A Cobourg Cougars. He knew the Cougars were hosting the RBC Cup national junior A championship.
Maguire played in 239 games with the Petes, recording 19 goals, 32 assists and 51 points. He appeared in 18 playoff games, tallying 5 points.
Maguire’s season went well. He finished second on the club in scoring with 14 goals and 57 points in 53 games. He had nine more points in eight playoff games but it was in Game 3 of the OJHL conference semifinal against the Wellington Dukes when Maguire was knocked heavily into the boards and hurt his hand. He finished the game and played the next but something was wrong. The pain and swelling got worse and he was having trouble gripping his stick. An X-ray revealed a broken knuckle.
An appointment was set with a specialist for five days later. He was told the surgeon would determine if surgery was necessary, A best case scenario was six weeks recovery without surgery but it was 12 weeks if surgery was required. In other words, his season would be over.
The five-team tournament opens Saturday with two games including the Cougars facing the Dudley Hewitt Cup champion Trenton Golden Hawks at 7:30 p.m. All games are at the Cobourg Community Centre. Maguire isn’t the only Petes alumnus associated with the Cougars. John Druce is the head coach and Brent Tully general manager. Jake Bricknell, who was acquired by the Petes during the 2016/17 season, will also play with Cobourg in the tournament.
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