Mid­dle­ton high school alumni hockey pits decades of play­ers in hol­i­day fun

Annapolis Valley Register - - SPORTS - BY AL­BERT JOHN­SON FOR THE REG­IS­TER MID­DLE­TON, N.S.

On Box­ing Day, the Mid­dle­ton and District Arena rang with cheers as the an­nual Grad Hockey games were held be­fore an ap­pre­cia­tive crowd.

In the open­ing ac­tion for­mer Aca­dia U star on the ice and the rugby pitch, Natasha Wot­ton, sniped four goals in lead­ing the Grads to a 6-1 win for the Grad Girls over the cur­rent MRHS Girls Mon­archs.

Ad­di­tional Grad goals were rung up by Bai­ley Ge­orge and Nicole Thibault. Mad­die Reeves in the Grad net had her bid for a shutout spoiled by Ken­zie Veinot as­sisted by Tris­tan Saltz­man.

The mid­dle game of the night fea­tured Grad Boys from af­ter 1998 di­vided into two squads. Both Chad Bent and Tyler Mur­phy were strong in their re­spec­tive nets in the low-scor­ing game. Big Nick Hazel­wood was a scor­ing ma­chine in lead­ing his team to vic­tory while Robert Bruce and Matt Smith were both such a bul­wark on the blue­line. On the los­ing side the de­fence was led by rangy Ryan Cole­man and Tyler Wot­ton with the of­fence led by Chris Eng­land and James Med­i­craft. Un­for­tu­nately, the ac­tual scor­ing sum­mary was un­avail­able at press time.

In the fi­nal game the An­cient Blue and Gold Grads led by MRHS coach emer­i­tus Al­bert Pep­pard schooled the 2018-19 Monarch Boys 7-4.

Ter­rific Timmy Cole once again led the An­cients with a brace of goals as did ‘Ringer’ Big Nick Hazel­wood along with a helper. ‘Griz­zled’ Matt Hazel­wood, not to be to­tally out­shone by son Nick, picked up a goal and an as­sist.

Mon­archs as­sis­tant coach Chris Llewellyn banged home a goal with an as­sist, while coach Jim John­son ( de­spite be­ing checked closely all night) had nu­mer­ous great scor­ing chances only to be foiled by Jesse Por­te­ous guard­ing the twines for the Mon­archs. John­son did gar­ner an as­sist! ‘Age­less’ Chris Jensen had the other An­cients goal while Clay­ton Dauphi­nee and Ja­son ‘Jet’ Hoff­man both gar­nered as­sists.

Kevin ‘Farmer’ Saltz­man looked more than ad­e­quate up front for the An­cients as did ‘Pis­tol’ Pete MacLean. Saltz­man has been prac­tic­ing with the Charles Lewis All-Stars it has been ru­moured. It was great to see the four­some of John­son, Hoff­man, Clin­ton Lewis, and Big Joe Ro­bicheau show­ing the speed and skill that en­abled them to win two back-to-back atom pro­vin­cial cham­pi­onships in the mid 1980s.

Scor­ing for the 2018-19 Mon­archs were: Luke Sawler from Thomas Con­nell; Tayler Veinot fol­lowed by the ‘Red Rocket’ Cory John­son both unas­sisted; and fi­nally ‘Nifty’ Ned Brooks from Veinot.

All three games were very ex­cit­ing with lots of scor­ing, plenty of close back-and-forth hockey, won­der­ful ca­ma­raderie, de­li­cious treats from the can­teen, and friends not seen for some time! Look­ing for­ward to MRHS Grad Hockey 2019!

LAWRENCE POW­ELL

The 2018-19 Monarch Boys might have lost the fi­nal game in the an­nual MRHS Box­ing Day Grad Hockey games, but they kept the An­cients on their toes. The An­cients won the con­test 7-4 but the young guys started the scor­ing three min­utes into the first of two 26-minute pe­ri­ods when Thomas Con­nell set up Luke Sawler for the open­ing marker.

LAWRENCE POW­ELL

The An­cients in blue, and the cur­rent Mon­archs Boys, in gold, fought a backand-forth bat­tle in the third game of the MRHS Box­ing Day Grad Hockey games. The An­cients won 7-4.

LAWRENCE POW­ELL

The An­cient Blue and Gold Grads de­feated the cur­rent MRHS Mon­archs Boys 7-4 in the fi­nal con­test of the an­nual MRHS Box­ing Day Grad Hockey games. Coach emer­i­tus, 91-year-old Al­bert Pep­pard, was teacher, prin­ci­pal, and long­time coach at MRHS go­ing back to 1949.

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