YOUTH PLAYOFFS SET TO BEGIN
Major midget, female midget ‘AAA’ and major bantam teams hit the ice
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.
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.