Volleyballer back on the march
Region excelling in hockey, figure skating this season
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.
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.
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.
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.