YOUTH PLAY­OFFS SET TO BE­GIN

Ma­jor midget, fe­male midget ‘AAA’ and ma­jor ban­tam teams hit the ice

Cape Breton Post - - FRONT PAGE - BY CAPE BRE­TON POST STAFF sports@cb­post.com On Twit­ter: @cb­post_s­ports

Cape Bre­ton teams in ac­tion to­day.

It’s play­off time for Cape Bre­ton teams start­ing this week­end.

The post-sea­son opens for lo­cal teams in three dif­fer­ent pro­vin­cial leagues, in­clud­ing an all-Cape Bre­ton matchup in the Nova Sco­tia EastLink Ma­jor Midget Hockey League.

The first-place Cape Bre­ton West Is­lan­ders (31-5-1-1) were the class of the league this sea­son with a vet­eran lineup. They’ll face the eighth-place Cape Bre­ton Union­ized Trades­men (2-36-0-0), who will look to play the role of gi­ant slay­ers. The cross-is­land ri­vals clash for Game 1 Satur­day at 6 p.m. and Sun­day at 2 p.m. at the Al MacIn­nis Sports Cen­tre in Port Hood.

The Is­lan­ders won all six meet­ings be­tween the teams this sea­son. They outscored the Trades­men 39-13 in the process. Avery Warner led the team in scor­ing with 54 points (24 goals, 30 as­sists).

The MacIn­tyre Chevy Pan­thers hope to come up big in an

un­der­dog role as well in their Nova Sco­tia Fe­male Midget ‘AAA’ Hockey League play­offs. They’ll hit the road to play the league-lead­ing Metro Bos­ton Pizza on Satur­day at 1:30 p.m. in Bedford. Game 2 goes Sun­day at 10:15 a.m.

The Pan­thers fin­ished in fourth place in the league with a 4-13-1 record, while the Metro side placed first at 12-5-1. How­ever,

the Cape Bre­ton club wrapped up the reg­u­lar sea­son with a pair of wins, in­clud­ing a 5-4 road vic­tory over Metro on Feb. 19. Leah Byrne, the Pan­thers’ cap­tain and the league’s lead­ing scorer, fin­ished the sea­son with 13 goals and eight as­sists for 21 points.

The Joneljim Cougars be­gin their best-of-three se­ries on home ice Satur­day at the Emera Cen­tre North­side at 7:15 p.m. against the Western Hur­ri­canes. The Cougars placed 10th in the 12-team Nova Sco­tia Ma­jor Ban­tam Hockey League with a 14-18-1-0 record, while Western was third at 21-11-1-0.

The Cape Bre­ton side boasts the top two scor­ers in the league. Sonny Ka­batay fin­ished with a league best 60 points, scor­ing 25 goals and adding 35 helpers. Team­mate Nathan MacMil­lan scored 21 goals and chipped in 29 as­sists for 50 points.

T.J. COLELLO/CAPE BRE­TON POST

Nathan Martinello, left, of the Cape Bre­ton Union­ized Trades­men and Ja­cob Ste­wart of the Cape Bre­ton West Is­lan­ders bat­tle off the draw dur­ing a game at Cen­tre 200 on Oct. 27. The teams lock horns in the open­ing round start­ing to­day in Port Hood.

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