Vol­ley­baller back on the march

Re­gion ex­celling in hockey, fig­ure skat­ing this sea­son

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE - BY NI­CHOLAS MERCER THE COM­PASS

Sam March en­dured a se­vere knee in­jury which could have ended her ca­reer. Af­ter en­dur­ing a long re­hab sched­ule, March came back and helped lead the Me­mo­rial Univer­sity Lady Sea-hawks vol­ley­ball team to the At­lantic Univer­sity Sport Cham­pi­onship tour­na­ment for the first time in five years. The Com­pass spoke with March about her re­cov­ery, the AUS tour­na­ment and the sup­port of her teammates.

Those who fol­low win­ter sports in the re­gion have been tak­ing no­tice of the ex­tra­or­di­nary re­sults be­ing turned in by ath­letes in the Tri-pen area this sea­son.

Be­tween boys and girls hockey, Tri-pen has man­aged a medal in ev­ery tour­na­ment they have en­tered so far in 2011-12.

And the Trin­ity-pla­cen­tia Skat­ing Club also turned in a dom­i­nat­ing per­for­mance at a re­cent event in Corner Brook.

“It’s a com­bi­na­tion of good play­ers and ca­ma­raderie like never be­fore,” said Teepees mi­nor hockey pres­i­dent Eric Clarke. “We have some good teams.”

Tri-pen hockey teams are com­prised of play­ers from the Bon­av­ista Penin­sula, Burin Penin­sula and the Avalon Penin­sula.

Ac­cord­ing to Clarke, the suc­cess on the boys’ side has been a long time com­ing.

“It is the first time the boys have done any­thing like this,” he said.

The most re­cent win for Tri-pen was a gold medal cap­tured by the AAA mi­nor midget team at the pro­vin­cial cham­pi­onships held in Lake Melville, Labrador Feb. 17-19.

The team bat­tled Cen­tral for the right to rep­re­sent the prov­ince at the At­lantic tour­na­ment be­ing held in Dal­housie, New Brunswick, March 22-25.

Tri-pen thumped Cen­tral 7-1, with goals from Zachary Hoskins (2), An­thony Nip­pard, Josh St. Ge­orge, Cole Avery Marsh, Ni­cholas Hann and Justin Ab­bott.

The Ice kicked off the tour­na­ment on a sour note, drop­ping back-to-back games, first 3-1 to Western and then 9-7 to Cen­tral. They then beat Western 10-4 and then North­ern 8-4.

The tour­na­ment vic­tory meant a sweep for the Tri-pen midget squads, which in­clude male and fe­male teams. Ear­lier this month, the fe­male squad claimed its sec­ond con­sec­u­tive pro­vin­cial AAA ban­ner.

Pee­wee suc­cess

Tri-pen AAA as­sis­tant coach Brian Dono­van, whose son, Noah, is en­rolled with Ceebees’ mi­nor in Har­bour Grace, con­trib­uted the suc­cess of the Tri-pen teams to the cal­i­bre of ath­letes com­ing out of the sport­ing cen­tres.

“There are some boom­ing ar­eas feed­ing the teams,” he said, adding that Tri-pen is “at the height of the ath­letic com­mu­nity.”

Un­sure of an ex­act rea­son that makes this group of ath­letes so suc­cess­ful, Dono­van points to the no­tion that they’ve “all grown up play­ing hockey,” as a pos­si­ble fac­tor.

“It seems like we’re catch­ing St. John’s,” he said.

Dono­van’s AAA pee­wee team was fin­ished sec­ond at the pro­vin­cial cham­pi­onships held in Deer Lake, Feb. 17-19.

The Ice ran into a tough Cen­tral team in the tour­na­ment final, drop­ping a lop­sided 9-3 decision to the back-to-back champs. Ni­cholas Ab­bott, Joshua Wil­liams and Chan­dler War­ren scored for Tri-pen.

“I can’t say we ex­pected to win the tour­na­ment, but we did ex­pect to do well,” he said.

Dono­van said his team “def­i­nitely en­joyed” the tour­na­ment.

“We came to­gether as a group,” he said. “There is only one team bet­ter than us in the prov­ince.”

These medals, com­bined with the sil­ver medal gar­nered by the AAA ban­tam girls’ team last month in Spring­dale, is fur­ther ev­i­dence of this year’s ex­cep­tional re­sults. Cut­ting a dom­i­nat­ing fig­ure It was not only ath­letes don­ning hockey skates who have suc­ceeded this win­ter in are­nas around the prov­ince.

Most re­cently, the Trin­ity-pla­cen­tia Skat­ing Club, based out of Whit­bourne, made a suc­cess­ful trip to the 2012 Syn­chro­nized Skat­ing Cham­pi­onships held at the Pepsi Cen­tre in Corner Brook, Feb. 17-18.

In the pre-novice di­vi­sion, the Trin­ity-pla­cen­tia Ex­plo­sions scored 35 points to take first place. The team from the Mount Pearl Skat­ing Club was its clos­est com­peti­tor with 30.48 points.

The TP Skat­ing Club was again on the podium in the Ju­ve­nile di­vi­sion, as the TP Flames nar­rowly missed first place with 31.37 points.

The TP Sparks fin­ished sec­ond in the Be­gin­ner I di­vi­sion, fin­ish- ing with 10.11 points.

The Trin­ity-pla­cen­tia Skat­ing Club has not been the only skat­ing club to have a ban­ner year, as the Con­cep­tion Bay North Skat­ing Club will be send­ing nine in­di­vid­ual skaters and two dance teams to provin­cials.

It is the largest num­ber of skaters the club has ever sent to the pro­vin­cial com­pe­ti­tion.

“If only we knew how strong we could be,” said Dono­van.

nmercer@cb­n­com­pass.ca

Sub­mit­ted photo

The Tri-pen Ice AAA mi­nor midget team cap­tured the gold medal at the AAA mi­nor midget pro­vin­cial cham­pi­onships held in Lake Melville, Labrador, Feb. 17-19. Mem­bers of the team are: front (l-r) – as­sis­tant coach Neil Nor­cott, head coach Keith Fil­lier, man­ager Joan Nip­pard, Lu­cas Goo­bie, Nick Hann, Josh St. Ge­orge, Cole Avery-marsh, Josh Reme­dios, Mar­cus Hol­lett and trainer Den­nis Marsh; back (l-r) – Zach Hoskins, Spencer Nor­cott, Pa­trick Churchill, An­thony Nip­pard, Blake Smith, Ryan Fil­lier, Dakota Se­ward, Colin Jack­son, Justin Ab­bott, Zach King and A.J. Par­rott.

Sub­mit­ted photo

Tri-pen AAA pee­wee goal­tender, and Bay Arena prod­uct, Owen Pet­ten salutes fans at the con­clu­sion of the gold medal game against Cen­tral, Feb. 19 in Deer Lake.

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