CAPE BRE­TON CON­TENT

Cole Reginato of Al­bert Bridge wins Pres­i­dent Cup with Sea Dogs

Cape Breton Post - - Front Page - BY JEREMY FRASER jeremy.fraser@cb­post.com

Cole Reginato play­ing for Saint John in Me­mo­rial Cup.

Cole Reginato al­ways dreamed about play­ing in the QMJHL and win­ning a league ti­tle, but he never thought it would ever hap­pen.

His dream of play­ing in the Que­bec Ma­jor Ju­nior Hockey League came true last year, split­ting the sea­son be­tween the Cape Bre­ton Scream­ing Ea­gles and the Saint John Sea Dogs, but what Reginato didn’t know was his sec­ond dream would also come true.

The Al­bert Bridge res­i­dent cap­tured the Pres­i­dent Cup ti­tle on Wed­nes­day, help­ing the Saint John Sea Dogs de­feat the Blainville-Bois­briand Ar­mada 5-1 at the Cen­tre d’ex­cel­lence Sports Rousseau in Bois­briand, Que., sweep­ing the league fi­nal 4-0.

The cham­pi­onship win for the Sea Dogs was the team’s third league ti­tle in fran­chise his­tory, with the first com­ing in 2011, a year the team also won the MasterCard Me­mo­rial Cup.

Reginato was on the ice for the fi­nal sec­onds of Game 4.

“It was an amaz­ing ex­pe­ri­ence,” said the 19-year-old for­ward. “At the 15-sec­ond mark ,I started look­ing at the clock — I think my gloves were off with 10 sec­onds left, I couldn’t wait the ex­tra 10 sec­onds to cel­e­brate.”

Reginato’s jour­ney to win­ning the Pres­i­dent Cup wasn’t an easy one.

Af­ter play­ing one sea­son with the Cape Bre­ton Trades­men of the Nova Sco­tia East­link Ma­jor Midget Hockey League and not get­ting drafted into the QMJHL, Reginato was se­lected by the Yar­mouth Mariners in round four, 44th over­all, at the 2014 Mar­itime Hockey League En­try Draft.

He went on to play one year with the Ju­nior A Mariners dur­ing the 2014-15 sea­son, be­fore be­ing in­vited to the Cape Bre­ton Scream­ing Ea­gles train­ing camp in Au­gust 2015. Reginato would crack the Scream­ing Ea­gles ros­ter out of camp, ap­pear­ing in 24 games with the Cape Bre­ton squad that sea­son.

Fol­low­ing the 2015-16 QMJHL trade pe­riod, the Scream­ing

Ea­gles placed the home­town boy on waivers, where he would later be claimed by the Saint John Sea Dogs in Jan­uary 2016.

In 66 reg­u­lar sea­son games with Saint John this year, Reginato had nine goals and 29 points along with 108 penalty min­utes. Mean­while, in 16 play­off games, he added three goals and five points.

Win­ning a Pres­i­dent Cup is a mo­ment Reginato will never for­get.

“All last sum­mer I trained re­ally hard with the hopes of be­ing able to play in the Me­mo­rial Cup,” said Reginato. “I knew we had a good team, so I trained hard for it and now it’s here so it’s re­ally a dream come true.”

Reginato be­comes the first Cape Bre­ton player to win a

Pres­i­dent Cup ti­tle since 2011 when Michael Kirk­patrick of North Syd­ney won the league ti­tle, also with the Sea Dogs. Reginato isn’t the only Cape Bre­toner to win this year’s Pres­i­dent Cup as the Sea Dogs’ as­sis­tant coach, Paul Boutilier, is from Cox­heath.

The Sea Dogs breezed through the first two rounds of the QMJHL play­offs, sweep­ing back-to-back se­ries against the Ri­mouski Océanic and Val-d’Or Foreurs. In the league semi­fi­nals, Saint John needed six games to knock off the Chicoutimi Saguenéens, the team’s only speed bump in the play­offs, be­fore beat­ing the Ar­mada in the fi­nal.

In win­ning the Pres­i­dent Cup, the Sea Dogs will now ad­vance to the MasterCard Me­mo­rial

Cup, May 19-28, in Wind­sor, Ont. By ad­vanc­ing to the na­tional tour­na­ment early, Saint John will have a week off be­fore they hit the ice at the event.

Reginato is look­ing for­ward to par­tic­i­pat­ing in the tour­na­ment.

“It’s go­ing to be tough, of course, ev­ery team there is go­ing to be good, but we’re ready to face them — it should be a bat­tle,” said Reginato. “I’m get­ting lots of texts from peo­ple say­ing how well run this tour­na­ment is and how fun it is — what­ever hap­pens it will be a great ex­pe­ri­ence.”

Saint John will open the MasterCard Me­mo­rial Cup on Friday, May 19, against the host Wind­sor Spit­fires of the On­tario Hockey League (OHL) at 8 p.m. The Sea Dogs will also play the OHL cham­pion on May 22 at 8 p.m., and the Western Hockey League cham­pion on May 23 at 8 p.m., all game times are At­lantic and can be seen live na­tion­ally on Sport­snet.

The MasterCard Me­mo­rial Cup fi­nal is sched­uled for May 28 at 8 p.m. at the WFCU Cen­tre in Wind­sor.

VIN­CENT ETHIER/QMJHL ME­DIA

Cole Reginato of Al­bert Bridge hoists the Que­bec Ma­jor Ju­nior Hockey League’s Pres­i­dent Cup af­ter the Saint John Sea Dogs 5-1 win over the Blainville-Bois­briand Ar­mada at the Cen­tre d’ex­cel­lence Sports Rousseau in Bois­briand, Que., on Wed­nes­day. The Sea Dogs swept the league fi­nal 4-0.

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