Hor­ton Griffins boys’ hockey team scores spot at provin­cials

Coach sees team’s un­der­dog sta­tus as an op­por­tu­nity to sur­prise com­pe­ti­tion

Annapolis Valley Register - - SPORTS - Sara.eric­s­son@kingscountynews.ca

The Hor­ton High School boys’ hockey team has achieved ev­ery goal they set out this year, in­clud­ing their fi­nal one – ce­ment­ing a spot at the up­com­ing provin­cials.

Jeff Moore is the coach for the team, and says he sat down with his staff and play­ers at the be­gin­ning of the sea­son to write sev­eral goals he wanted the boys to ac­com­plish by the end of their reg­u­lar sea­son.

These in­cluded win­ning 50 per cent of their tour­na­ments, fin­ish­ing at the top of league, win­ning the league cham­pi­onships, win­ning re­gion­als and giv­ing them­selves the op­por­tu­nity to com­pete at provin­cials.

“A win at provin­cials would be ex­ceed­ing any goals we set out,” said Moore.

Strong reg­u­lar sea­son fin­ish

The team has fin­ished strong within its re­gion, with their last win re­sult­ing in a 4-0 shutout against Park View March 2.

This fol­lows the team’s league fi­nals win over West Kings on Feb. 27, for which the fi­nal score came in at 10-4.

“We had a game plan head­ing into each of our games, and we stuck to it – avoid­ing the penalty box, putting the pres­sure on,” said Moore.

“The re­sult was a dom­i­nant vic­tory over Park View, who has given us a chal­lenge this year.”

Moore said even these pregame plans weren’t en­tirely to blame for the team’s suc­cess, and that it re­ally came down to the play­ers want­ing the win, and be­liev­ing they could get there by work­ing to­gether.

“Our team made us proud as coaches could be, es­pe­cially af­ter that fi­nal game,” he said.

‘The op­por­tu­nity to sur­prise:’ coach

Moore says it’s this mo­ti­va­tion he wants to see his team play­ers keep up as they get ready for provin­cials, which will hap­pen March 22 to 25.

While plac­ings are still be­ing fi­nal­ized as other teams play their last games, Moore is fairly con­fi­dent his team will have fin­ished near to the mid­dle of the pack once those re­sults roll in.

But he and his play­ers aren’t feel­ing in­tim­i­dated by the suc­cess of the top teams, many of whom they’ve played and had many close matches with at var­i­ous com­pe­ti­tions.

“We’ve played well against them but haven’t beaten them. The games have all seen scores like 3-2, 4-3, 6-4, all close. If we go, get com­pet­i­tive and play dis­ci­plined hockey, we could stand a chance,” he said. Front row from left, Seth Rout­ledge, Jay­den Smi­ley, Chris Landry, Jay­den Sim­monds, Noah Barrett, Zach Moore, Daw­son Mcphail, Kyle Corbin and Tay­lor Mcmil­lan. Back row, Iain Dun­can, Blake Dea­con, Bran­den Schofield, Dean Vial, Colby Lewis, Cam Fo­ran, Cal­lum Pardy, Hunter Wood­land and Caleb Ho­gan.

He feels con­fi­dent his team will step up, and, with a ros­ter that in­cludes 10 Grade 12 stu­dents, could even steal the tour­na­ment from the top teams.

“I’m sure we’re go­ing to have the best of what these grad­u­at­ing play­ers are go­ing to give us, and I think peo­ple in the city have writ­ten us off as just an­other team.

But, com­ing in as an un­der­dog, we have the op­por­tu­nity to sur­prise a lot of peo­ple,” he said.

SUB­MIT­TED

SUB­MIT­TED

Cap­tains ac­cept­ing re­gional ban­ner, from left, as­sis­tant cap­tains Iain Dun­can and Noah Barrett, cap­tain Cal­lum Pardy, and as­sis­tant cap­tain Daw­son Mcphail.

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