Astros overindulge at Octoberfest
Bay Roberts school captures Mount Pearl hockey tournament
The Ascension Collegiate Astros boys’ hockey team is Octoberfest champion for the first time in 16 years after it defeated the Holy Heart Highlanders 3-2 in the championship game on Oct. 14.
“We’ve come close and been in a couple of championships, but this is the first time we’ve won it,” said coach Paul Gosse in the tunnels of the Mount Pearl Glacier moments after the team’s momentous victory.
The Octoberfest Hockey Tournament ran from Oct. 8-14 and featured the top high school teams from the Avalon region.
Both the Astros and the Highlanders skated to a scoreless first period before the Astros opened the scoring midway through the second stanza.
First-year forward Ryan Dawson converted a pass from William Hayes, banging the puck past Highlanders starter Nick Walsh.
“It was great pass from Willie (Hayes),” said coach Jeremy Mercer.
Holy Heart applied pressure for the rest of the period, but could not find a way to beat Astros’ keeper Mitchell Dobbin.
It would remain a one-goal game until first-year player Reilly Deering corralled a loose puck, broke in on Walsh and beat him five-hole to give the Astros a two-goal advantage with just under five minutes to play. Deering also scored the winner in the semi final matchup with perennial powerhouse Gonzaga the previous night.
Dawson would score a minute later
to stake the Astros to a three-goal lead.
With just under three minutes to go, the Highlanders potted two goals — 25 seconds apart — to make it a 3-2 contest and ensure a hectic scramble to the final buzzer.
The puck barely left the Astros’ end during the last minute of play, with the Highlanders striking two posts. Dobbin, playing with the stomach flu, was key down the stretch, as he turned aside the rest of Holy Heart’s scoring chances.
“It’s good motivation for the team,” said Dobbin. “We played well in our own end.”
When the dust settled, the Astros had taken the championship with a 3-2 victory.
“We would’ve had a good team,” he said. “We had the numbers and we had a good lineup.
“There was lots of defenceman and 12 forwards. It was real disappointing.”
The loss of the team means that the high level of hockey that major midget affords players will no available in this part of the Avalon for the remainder of the season, stated Noseworthy.
“All of the opportunity is gone for the kids,” he said. “Their all left out in the dark now.”
What makes it worse, Nosewor- thy added, is that feeder associations in Bay Roberts, Harbour Grace, Whitbourne, Placentia, Clarenville, Bonavista and Marystown have a strong core of players coming up through the ranks.
The coach said the shutdown could have dire consequences on the future of major midget in the region.
“I was talking with the president of the major midget league in St. John’s and he said it could be a long time before Avalon will get another team,” said Noseworthy.
Ascension Collegiate Astros’ keeper Mitchell Dobbin watched the puck clang off of the goal post during third-period action against the Holy Heart Highlanders in the championship of the Octoberfest Hockey Tournament Oct. 14 at the Glacier in Mount Pearl. Ascension beat the Highlanders 3-2 to claim the title.