Pro­vin­cial ban­ners up for grabs

Cape Bre­ton teams com­pet­ing at NSSAF hockey cham­pi­onships

Cape Breton Post - - SPORTS - BY T.J. COLELLO sports@cb­post.com On Twit­ter: @cb­post_s­ports

A Red Cup Show­case ti­tle, a High­land Re­gion cham­pi­onship, and now the Glace Bay Panthers hope to com­plete the hat trick this week­end in Bridge­wa­ter.

The Panthers will com­pete at the Nova Sco­tia School Ath­letic Fed­er­a­tion Divi­sion 1 boys hockey cham­pi­onship start­ing Fri­day.

It’s been a bit of a lay­off for the Glace Bay club. The first­place team in the Cape Bre­ton High School Hockey League last played in a com­pet­i­tive game on March 8, when they bested the Riverview Red­men 3-2 to win the best-of-five league cham­pi­onship se­ries in four games.

Panthers head coach Ryan Boutilier said his club’s been keep­ing sharp by prac­tis­ing four days a week, and have in­cor­po­rated some scrim­mages into the mix.

“Ev­ery­body is re­ally pos­i­tive right now and hav­ing fun with what we’re do­ing, but we know we have to hit a switch come Thurs­day.”

The goal­tend­ing tan­dem of Kaine Drake and Con­nor MacK­in­non has back­stopped the Panthers, the for­mer named Red Cup MVP. They’ve played be­hind what’s been a bal­anced at­tack.

“Over­all, our coach­ing staff is ex­tremely im­pressed with the strides we’ve made this year,” said Boutilier. “We got bet­ter each week, es­pe­cially af­ter Christ­mas, which is key to any team’s suc­cess.”

The Panthers will face North Nova, Lock­view and Hal­i­fax West in Pool ‘A’. Pool ‘ B’ in­cludes Citadel, Park View, Dr. J.H. Gil­lis and Sir John A. Macdon­ald.

Glace Bay plays Hal­i­fax West and Lock­view on Fri­day and North Nova on Satur­day. The semi­fi­nal win­ners on Satur­day move on to the cham­pi­onship on Sun­day at 1 p.m.

Next sea­son, the Panthers will play host to the pro­vin­cial cham­pi­onship. They’ll have 14 play­ers el­i­gi­ble to re­turn from this year’s squad.

The Divi­sion 3 boys hockey cham­pi­onship will be con­tested in Cape Bre­ton this week­end. The In­ver­ness Rebels will play host at the event, and will be joined by the Rich­mond Hur­ri­canes of Louis­dale, Bridgetown and Par-en-Bas. The Rebels took home a sil­ver medal from last year’s tour­na­ment in Ch­ester Basin, los­ing 5-2 to Par-en-Bas in the fi­nal.

Round-robin play opens on noon on Fri­day at the Dr. Bernie Ma­cLean Cul­tural and Recreation Cen­tre in In­ver­ness. The sec­ond and third­place teams play in the semi­fi­nal on Satur­day at 7 p.m., with the win­ner meet­ing the first-place team on Sun­day at 1 p.m.

The Dal­brae Dragons will com­pete at the Divi­sion 2 boys tour­na­ment in Amherst, while the Glace Bay Panthers are in Bridgetown for the Divi­sion 2 girls cham­pi­onship.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO/RYAN BOUTILIER

The High­land Re­gion cham­pion Glace Bay Panthers will com­pete at the NSSAF Divi­sion 1 boys cham­pi­onship in Bridge­wa­ter this week­end. In the front, from left, are Kaine Drake, Rob­bie Har­roun, Dy­lan Pi­mentel, Con­nor Har­roun, Micheal Doucet, Zach Politte, Ryan Wil­son, Jack Sum­merell, Con­nor Camp­bell and Con­nor MacK­in­non. In the back row, from left, are as­sis­tant coach Stephen Gil­lard, head coach Ryan Boutilier, Parker Spencer, Chris­tian Jack­son, Lo­gan Burke, Nathan Liv­ingston, Kyle Moss, Drew Bax­ter, Justin McDougall, Chad O’Neill, Nolan Jewells, Lo­gan Bre­sowar, trainer Tyler MacPhee, as­sis­tant coach Dwight Brown and as­sis­tant coach Daryl Lynk.

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