Rays bask in the bantam hockey spotlight

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Connor Kirby’s goal, with just over eight minutes to play in the third period, stood as the winner as the Bubba Rays Gulls from Hammonds Plains, N.S. edged the Moncton Hawks from New Brunswick to win the 2014 Irving Oil Atlantic Challenge Cup bantam hockey championship Sunday afternoon at The Glacier in Mount Pearl.

Earlier in the day, the St. John’s Ice Breakers got a goal from Ian Smallwood at 4:30 of overtime to beat Tri-Com Thunder 4-3 in an all-Newfoundland bronze-medal game matchup.

In the final game, Nick Fewer and player of the game Shane Bowers also scored for Nova Scotia. Damien Robichaud and Tristan Mercure replied for the Hawks, who trailed 1-0 after the first period, but led 2-1 after 30 minutes.

After Bowers score early in the third period to knot the score, the Nova Scotia captain was awarded a penalty shot, but was thwarted by New Brunswick goalie Zachary Robichaud.

That set the stage for Kirby, who took a great pass from Fewer and buried the winner as Nova Scotia ran the table in Mount Pearl, going 5-0.

Eathan Crossman was named New Brunswick’s player of the game.

St. John’s 4, Tri-Com 3

The Ice Breakers needed a goal from player of the game Joel Bishop with 1:30 remaining in regulation time to force overtime.

Matt McKim and Cody Langmead also scored for the Ice Breakers, representing Newfoundland and Labrador. Scoring for the Host Thunder were Nick Gosse, Brandon Lucas and Jacob Upshall, who also had a pair of assists. Upshall was the Thunder’s player of the game.

The Charlottetown Abbies also took part in the tournament, representing Prince Edward Island.

Saturday night, the tournament awards were presented and Bowers was named the most valuable player. Crossman was voted the top forward and Chris McQuaid of P.E.I. was the best defenceman. The top goaltender was Nova Scotia’s Kirklin Allen, and Matthew Orman of Nova Scotia took home the scoring title after potting four goals and seven assists in four games. Kyle McGrath of the Ice Breakers took the most sportsmanlike player award.

One player from each of the five teams were awarded the Hard Hat Award, which goes to the player with strong leadership skills, a strong work ethic and a commitment to excellence. The winners were: Bishop (Newfoundland), David Moore (Host), Joshua Webb (Nova Scotia), Nicholas Cormier (New Brunswick) and Gavin Hickey (P.E.I.).

MAJOR MIDGET HOCKEY

Jordan Maher of Central IcePak was chosen the most sportsmanlike player at the 2014 Atlantic major midget championship at the Pictou County Wellness Centre in Nova Scotia during the weekend.

The Halifax McDonald’s of Nova Scotia edged Saint John Vitos of New Brunswick 5-4 to win the crown.

Central Ice Pak finished 1-3.

Maher and Shane Dominie were the top scorers for IcePak with four points each, from a goal and three assists.

The IcePak’s only win came Saturday with a 4-3 victory over Prince Edward Island.

Kyle Champion, Mitchell Lewis, Scottie Greene and Dominie had the goals for the Newfoundland and Labrador representatives. Goalie Noah Weir posted the win.

MIDGET FEMALE HOCKEY

Tana Genge of Host Western Warriors was presented with the most sportsmanship award at the 2014 Atlantic AAA female midget championship which concluded Sunday in Deer Lake.

The Moncton Rockets from New Brunswick edged the Pro Cresting Penguins from Nova Scotia  2-1 to claim the crown.

Meanwhile, the King County Kings from Prince Edward Island captured the bronze medal by defeating Newfoundland and Labrador’s Central IcePak 3-2 in overtime.

Keesha John and Robyn Rideout had the goals for IcePak. Sam Dalley was named the IcePak’s player of the game. Melissa Mercer was in net for the Newfoundland representatives, who finished 1-2-1 in the round-robin.

 The Western Warriors finished 0-3-1.

Organizations: Irving Oil, The Glacier, Pictou County Wellness Centre King County Kings

Geographic location: Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador Hammonds Plains Mount Pearl Prince Edward Island

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