Astros overindulge at Oc­to­ber­fest

Bay Roberts school cap­tures Mount Pearl hockey tour­na­ment

The Compass - - ORTHTE - BY NI­CHOLAS MERCER THE COM­PASS

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.

‘Great pass’

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.

nmercer@cb­n­com­pass.ca

Photo by Ni­cholas Mercer/the Com­pass

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.

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