Brad Galbraith is a multi-sport athlete in the Cayman Islands. He has a background in football, recently finished a youth basketball season and is now sharpening his skates for his first love: hockey.
In particular Galbraith, who turns 18 this month, is guiding a roller hockey team on Grand Cayman. The Ottawa native is team captain of the Legendz Longhorns in the Logic Adult Roller Hockey League. The competition started earlier this month and sees matches every Tuesday evening at the Logic arena of Kings Sports Centre.
Galbraith’s Longhorns are in action tonight at 9pm. The Longhorns may be a new name in local hockey but are essentially the same Barracudas squad from last year. In spite of his age Galbraith is no stranger to the sport having played the last four years.
In fact the son of Heather and Greg Anderson states his expectations this season are lofty.
“I think we can win the Cherry Cup,” Galbraith said. “I’m comfortable with the team. We have Jason (Windsor) who I feel is the league’s best defender. In fact he’s one of the best defencemen I’ve ever seen. We have Jeremy Olynik returning in net.
“He is one of the best goalies out there and he had the best save percentage last year. Chris Anton is versatile in defence and Eric Lacasse is back and he was a good asset. Eric was a good scorer but more importantly he kept people away from the net on defence.
“Granted our defenceman Jeff Danter is out this season because he left the island for family reasons. I’m also worried about Mark Thompson and his back health. If he can’t play well that can be an issue.
“We will have to work harder this season but we have a strong group with which we can win a Cup. We’re in great shape and we’re very confident that people will not score on us.”
Among the teams that could stifle those title aspirations are perennial powers the High Rollers and ITS Cayman (formerly the Budget Beavers). The High Rollers have traditionally been the best defensive side while ITS have consistently posted gaudy offensive numbers. Even the Islanders, who overcame years of futility to win their first championship last season, are threats.
Galbraith is well aware of the changes in all of those sides and feels that the Islanders are the team to beat at the moment. “ITS have a new goalie in Randy Cannon (who plays for the Pirates in ball hockey) and he should make a difference. Last year the Beavers had a porous defence. This year they look like a better team as Randy will be hard to beat in net.
“The High Rollers are good too but the defending champion Islanders scare me the most. Mind you they now have Scott Hughes in net with Nigel Windsor out for the season with a groin injury.
“But they have Pete Holowchuk who has a good toe-drag move. His linemate Rob (Rintoul) can only get better as he learns the sport. Jean-Louis Beaudet will get better and has great scoring potential. He doesn’t get dirty in the boards but he still has ability to score.”
Galbraith, who is only 5ft 7in and 110lbs, has some pressure to replicate his form from last Fall.
He had his best statistical campaign and saw his club rise to a second-place spot in the standings. Even though his side fell short of a title, Galbraith has plans of outdoing himself stats-wise.
“I think my best season was the championship one last Spring. No one expected us to win and I can’t explain how good it was to win the Cup. Being a captain (for the first time) last Fall had extra responsibilities.
“I had to make tough calls and it was extra pressure. But it brings leadership out of you and I couldn’t imagine posting 33 points before the season started. It was an amazing year.
“So this year I want the scoring title by beating out (Mark) Missal of ITS. Being champion comes first but claiming the scoring title comes right after that.”