Hockey season to climax with provincial tournaments next week
Players and coaches with the Bay Arena peewee Rovers are heading into the A division provincial tournament next week on a high note.
The Rovers captured the inaugural All-Newfoundland peewee league championship March 17 in Glovertown, defeating teams from Gander, Clarenville and Corner Brook.
Rovers players took two of the three individual awards. Kyle Petten earned the league’s most outstanding forward award, while Zachary Bennett was named top defenceman.
The momentum will serve the Rovers well as they prepare to welcome some of the top peewee-aged talent in Newfoundland and Labrador on their home ice in Bay Roberts.
From April 1-3, the Rovers will be challenged to bolster a medal count this year that also includes a gold medal at the Mary Brown’s Invitational in Gander.
Also vying for the provincial A banner will be teams from Corner Brook, and three teams from the St. John’s area — Compusult Wildcats AA, the Hickman Motors Icemen AA and the Universal Corporate Wear Lightning AA.
This year’s success by the Rovers peewee A team is not unique to Bay Arena minor.
In all, teams representing the association collected an impressive 17 medals in tournaments held throughout the 2012-13 minor hockey season. The medal breakdown is as follows: • gold — 11; • silver — six; Those numbers do not include players from Bay Arena minor who picked up medals playing with three Whitbourne-based teams — Tri Pen under-15 females (gold, silver), Tri Pen under-20 female (silver) and Tri Pen peewee AAA (silver).
Bay Arena minor president Brian Drover chalks up the success to the hard work of the young athletes.
“They’ve kept their interest and kept their nose to the grindstone,” he said.
It was the association’s first year with 10 all-star teams.
What makes the association’s success that much more impressive is that many of the teams have found success without a lot of games.
With provincial tournaments only a week away, Drover said all teams are busy getting ready for the high point of their seasons.
Not only is the Bay Arena hosting the peewee A tournament, but the association’s bantam B team will host the bantam E provincial tournament from April 4-6.
CeeBees minor also had a successful year. The bantam A team had a month-long run that saw the squad capture two gold and two silver. Overall, the association brought home 17 medals: • gold — six; • silver — eight; • bronze — one; Four female players from CeeBees minor and eight from Trinity Placentia minor were also members of the Bay Roberts-based Roverines under-20 female team that recently captured the provincial banner in Bay Roberts.
CeeBees minor president Wendy Penney said the home tournaments at the S.W. Moores Memorial Stadium in Harbour Grace have been “run very smoothly.”
CeeBees’ teams have been successful on the road this season.
The CeeBees are hosting two provincial tournaments — midget D and atom D.