Confederation confusion

Kenn Oliver
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HIGH SCHOOL HOCKEY Scheduling issues force declaration of co-champs in Tier 1, but Holy Heart may not get its share of the title

A broken pane of plexiglass at Jack Byrne Memorial Arena on Saturday that forced a Confederation Cup quarter-final game to be rescheduled to Sunday morning could end up costing the Holy Heart Highlanders a share of the championship.

Mount Pearl senior high and Corner Brook high were to play at the Torbay rink Saturday night, with the winner facing the Cole Harbour, N.S.,- based Auburn Drive high Eagles. However, during the warmup, a section of glass behind one of the nets was broken, and there wasn't a regulation-size replacement available. As a result, Sunday's semifinal and championship schedule had to be modified.

Goaltender Mark Burton of the Auburn Drive Eagles of Cole Harbour, N.S., makes a save as the Mount Pearl Huskies Brandon Noseworthy (10) looks for a rebound during their semifinal game in the Confederation Cup invitational high school tournament Sunday a

A broken pane of plexiglass at Jack Byrne Memorial Arena on Saturday that forced a Confederation Cup quarter-final game to be rescheduled to Sunday morning could end up costing the Holy Heart Highlanders a share of the championship.

Mount Pearl senior high and Corner Brook high were to play at the Torbay rink Saturday night, with the winner facing the Cole Harbour, N.S.,- based Auburn Drive high Eagles. However, during the warmup, a section of glass behind one of the nets was broken, and there wasn't a regulation-size replacement available. As a result, Sunday's semifinal and championship schedule had to be modified.

But Auburn, scheduled to depart early Sunday evening, would not be able to compete in a championship game if it advanced from the semifinal.

The Holy Heart Highlanders of St. John's and St. Kevin's Mavericks of Goulds met in the other semifinal Sunday morning. Prior to that game, and after examining all potential scenarios, tournament director Charlie Decker informed Heart coach Bob Perks and St. Kevin's coach Chris Druken that there was no other choice but to declare co-champions in the event Auburn won its semifinal.

Holy Heart won its semifinal game 6-3 and Auburn was indeed victorious in the other, with a 4-3 win over the Mount Pearl Huskies, who had defeated Corner Brook in the rescheduled quarter-final earlier Sunday.

But when the time came for a centre-ice championship award presentation, Decker alleges "players and an individual who claimed he was a teacher and representing" the Highlanders "blocked and interfered with the presentations," in what he calls an "orchestrated demonstration" in direct contradiction to what had previously been agreed upon.

As a result, the award ceremony - which involved tournament directors and event sponsors from Academy Canada - was moved to Auburn's dressing room. Later Sunday, the tournament's disciplinary committee announced "Holy Heart may not get any individual or team awards as a result of their actions."

"These people have to realize this is an invitational tournament, it's not their tournament," said Decker, who said tournament organizers and sponsors will meet on the matter today, and added that a decision on the championship will be made later this week. "I think it was totally irresponsible, disrespectful and definitely unsportsmanlike for those people and adults that were involved."

When Perks learned his team's co-championship could be revoked on the basis of what happened following Auburn's win, he was floored.

"I don't understand how that could happen. I was at the rink and nothing I saw personally would require that," he said.

Perks says while he agreed to co-championship teams in the meeting with Druken and tournament organizers, he didn't feel it was the best option since at that point, Auburn had a 4-1 record and his Highlanders were undefeated at 5-0.

"You've got a team with a loss, and us with no loss, and you're going to say we're co-winners?"

Perks and his team left the rink for lunch, but returned to watch the semifinal between Auburn and Mount Pearl. With about 20 seconds to play, Perks says some of his players saw the championship trophy and medals being prepared for presentation, assumed they were due on the ice to participate in the ceremony and made their way down.

Problem is, no one had invited the Highlanders to go on the ice and Perks says his players were instructed not to do so. He says the tournament organizers were prepared to do a ceremony on the ice with Auburn receiving the championship trophy, medals and awards and Heart receiving its at a later time.

"I was disappointed with the fact they didn't have an alternate plan in the event that Auburn had won. They should have said, come to the game, come dressed in your uniforms, and if Auburn wins, we'll hand the trophy out to both teams."

As for accusations of players and a school rep impeding the ceremony, Perks says the only thing that could be construed as such would be their questioning the decision to hand out hardware to one team, and not another. Some players may have been "upset," but did not physically interfere, he added.

Decker says Holy Heart wasn't denied anything, that the Highlanders would receive the same awards, but that their actions could cost them a championship.

Perks says he's especially disappointed for his team, especially his graduating players.

"We were in the final the first year and lost, and this year we had a good shot and we wanted to play the game. I don't want to win sitting in the stands and none of my players did either."

koliver@thetelegram.com

Organizations: Academy Canada

Geographic location: Mount Pearl, Corner Brook, St. John's

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  • Hockeyout
    July 02, 2010 - 13:35

    I read these comments and it's quite funny to see that the Boys from Holy Heart are still left out in the cold. Why was the Auburn team given the Championship medals and trophy in front of the crowd of family and peers of the Heart team. The boys wanted to be recognized as Champions or even co-champions. I guess its fine for Holy Heart to get presented with a medal somewhere down the road, maybe they should have been on the Ice and recognized for their efforts. If the organizers wanted to present the trophy and medals it should have been to EVERY player who was entitled. Seems that they wanted Holy Heart no where near the rink when they presented Auburn with the Championship. This was a big deal for the Holy Heart team, guess they will get their medals when the committe see's fit......they will be more then tarnished by that point. The organizers should take a look at how they dropped the ball on this and not blame 16 and 17 year olds. They only wanted to be recognized as being champions, in front of their families and friends. It could have been worked out for both teams to be there. Anyways nothing in this province surprises me when it comes to hockey. HNL first players last, always been that way always will be that way. TOO BAD!

  • Steve
    July 02, 2010 - 13:33

    Even though I never watched any of the confederation cup I feel bad for the kids of Holy Heart.It is nothing short of shameful that they were left out of championship presentation but still posted a 5 and 0 record.How HNL can make such a decion is beyond me.As for the team from NS it is unfortunate that they are cought up in this mess but one must realize that with any tournament comes delays in scheduling.To plan a trip to another prov.where the only way in and out is either by plan or boat and only have a hour and half grace is poor planning on someone part.If the Auburn could not play the championship game then there should have been another semi final game between St.Kevins and Mount Pearl with the winner going on to play Holy Heart or the championship should have been awarded to Holy Heart by default.
    Congrats Holy Heart

  • Neil
    July 02, 2010 - 13:29

    John Campbell from Dartmouth, NS --
    Now that is what you call class. Alot of people could learn a lesson from this guy.

  • hockeyguy
    July 02, 2010 - 13:26

    i just dont understand how a team traveling would book their flight for the same day as a championship game. even if everything went ahead as schedule the cahmpionship game would have been played at 4pm and the game would have ended around 6.
    so how is a team expected to make a flight at 7pm.
    you should have booked flight for the next day incase of something like glass breaking happening.
    holy heart should be the out right winners of this tournament with their 5-0 record
    while nova scotia had a 4-1 record and they couldnt make the final game.

  • David
    July 02, 2010 - 13:26

    Can you explain to me why a rink hosting a tournament of this calibre does not have the appropriate materials to fix a broken pane of glass. Come on. You talk about teams not wanting to come back. Embarrassing.

  • Staci
    July 02, 2010 - 13:24

    I go to holy heart and frankly find this really upsetting. The highlanders are an amazing hockey team, and i really do think that they should have won the trophy, because they won every single game!
    Yes, halifax should have gotten something too, but it's not the highlanders' fault that halifax could'nt play the championchip game.
    Holy heart should get something out of this!!

  • Randy Coady
    July 02, 2010 - 13:24

    Typical Newfoundland ! No matter what, from AHL to QMJHL, to that useless Mile one, everything is , as usual, a cluster-f##k!

  • Allison
    July 02, 2010 - 13:23

    Ideally, everyone would have enjoyed a tournament that went off without a hitch. Realistically, this rarely happens. Of course declaring co-champions was not the preferable option, but given the circumstances it certainly appears to be the most reasonable and just solution.

    However, declaring co-champions would entail TWO teams experiencing the glory and prestige of being winners. Medal and trophy presentations (regardless of the level or ability of the participants) are done at the end of an event to allow fellow participants of the tournament to acknowledge and congratulate the victors. Even if there weren't enough medals for both teams, it seems completely unfair to me that Auburn (through no fault of their own, they were simply complying with the procedures HNL had put in place) received sole recognition and possession of the tournament trophy while the Holy Heart boys were prevented from participating in a ceremony intended to recognize their co-victory.

    It's unfortunate that the schedule had to be altered, but HNL could have handled the medal presentations much more gracefully.

  • Joel
    July 02, 2010 - 13:22

    As a member of the Auburn Eagles I find some of the comments interesting. Our team consists of 16-18 year old's and we just want to play hockey. Do you think it was our choice, or even our suggestion to have co-champion's ? No. The tournament decided on this so why are you putting the weight on our shoulders and saying we don't deserve the title. We worked just as hard as Holy Heart and would have loved to face them in the finals. It's unfortunate that we were unable to face one another in the finals to see who truly deserved to win the Confederation Cup. Due to the fact of us having a loss in the round robin we don't deserve to be co-champions? This is very untrue. We earned our way to finals just as Holy Heart did. It's not our fault that we were thrown a scheduling conflict and couldn't make the finals. Considering the number of rinks in the area, the earliest our game could have been scheduled was 3:30pm? I find this hard to believe. So before more posts are added look at the facts. We had no power over what happened so don't take away from the effort we gave this weekend. I do agree that Holy Heart could have been on the ice with us after the game but we were in a hurry for our flight and also didn't have say on the final decision. The tournament ran into some issues and last minute decisions were made. That is life. I'm not sure what went on behind the time keepers box but it seems as though some one does and wasn't very happy about it.

  • Jacobsboy
    July 02, 2010 - 13:21

    I understand that the mainland teams and even the far away Newfoundland teams have travel considerations. But if you cannot make the final game or any game for any reason, you must forfeit. What would happen if say a team couldn't play for other reasons?? Would you just say o.k. and then award them the game?? The simplest way is to forfeit if you can't make it.

  • sarah
    July 02, 2010 - 13:21

    Ryan Morris ,
    You say that Heart's team were saying disrespectful things towards your team... yet i was there and i heard alot of very unacceptable comments coming from your team.Not only towards Holy Heart,but Newfoundland in general.

    I go to Holy Heart and of course our school is disappointed.But I also understand it was a co-win ; but it was a poor decision to not let Heart take any part in it.Not allowed on the ice to have a picture taken.Not even allowed to hold their trophy (which they rightfully deserved).People don't realise that The team was only going over to claim what was theirs,thinking they would at least be able to step foot on the ice.But apparently that wasn't allowed to happen.That doesn't seem like a fair way to settle things at all.

  • matt
    July 02, 2010 - 13:19

    Auburn should have been forced to forfeit the championship game finalizing Holy Heart as the Champions. Its not a picture perfect ending and not what anyone wanted or intended. But regardless of any conflicts, Auburn couldn't participate in the finals and should have lost by default. Holy Heart then should have been awarded the Hardware. Also if everyone did agree with the Co-Champion idea then both Holy Heart and Auburn should have been recognized at the same time.

  • Andrew
    July 02, 2010 - 13:19

    This is definately a difficult situation that with some forsight could have been handled better by the Host Committee.

    The Host Committee should review it's contingency planning for events such as this. They need to require teams to stay until Monday in the event of a winter storm, mechanical or technical failure at the arena, etc. Further to this they must work with the arena management groups to ensure the resources are in place to deal with a piece of broken glass etc.

    Unfortunately everyone is not happy with the decision made by the host committee given the travel constraints, however they should look long and hard to find ways to improve it so it does not happen again.

  • Jim
    July 02, 2010 - 13:19

    Come on people! Not one person involved any way with either team wanted anything to do with being Co-Champions !!!!! Something sounds fishy to me?????????? No replacement glass?? No extra icetime anywhere???? A piece of plywood???? Come on, What a mess. Let the kids play hockey!!!!! Remember, no matter how you feel about it, ITS STILL JUST A GAME!!!!!!!

  • Bill
    July 02, 2010 - 13:17

    I attended this tournament and was extremely impressed with the tournament committee, rink staff, our bus driver and tour guide Paddy as well as the hotel staff. All of these individuals went out of their way to make this an enjoyable experience for the players, coaches and parents of the Auburn Drive Eagles.
    In Nova Scotia High School teams are made up of players that play only high school. Players must decide bewteen minor hockey, Major Midget and High School they cannot play both or all three.
    It is very unfortunate that due to weather, a broken pane of glass and some other malfunctions fo equipment the tournament committee could not get all of the games in. The Auburn team flew over early Friday morninng and played two games Friday. Saturday the team played three games of hockey, winning their last game earning them the right to play in the semi finals Sunday morning at 11 am. Due to the broken pane of glass in one of the other arenas the other quarter final game was not played. The tournament committee worked well into Saturday Night to come up with a solution which was eventually agreed upon by all involved. The easiest solution was to have that quarter final game played at 8am Sunday morning as there was ice available in an arena. The unfortunate part would be that the teams would then have to play again at 11 in the semis and at 4 for the Championship. Three games in one day, as what had to be played by Auburn on Saturday.
    The Auburn team was booked on a flight home at 7:40 pm Sunday Night, this was done so they could play in the scheduled Championship game at 4 pm.
    All the teams in the tournament played very intense and it was sad to see some of the actions that occured on and off the ice. On two seperate occassions fans (students) spit on or at Auburn players. During one of these incidents, the coach of the Newfoundland team actually went across the ice to deal with these students, this was greatly appreciated by the team. On another occassion a racial comment was yelled from the players bench directed at an Auburn player. The coach of this team heard it and yelled at his player. This type of action has no place in the hockey arena or anywhere else.
    After winning the game against Mount Pearl there were players from Holy Heart behind the Auburn bench saying they were champions because they were 5-0 and for the team to go back to the mainland.
    It was not the Auburn players or coaches that decided on the course of action to complete the tournament. I would expect better from any local team, these comments and actions were not acceptable.
    Players at this age and level are representing their school, their sport and their Province. Some of the behaviour that was witnessed this weekend did not demonstrate what we would have expected when visiting for this tournament.

  • rod
    July 02, 2010 - 13:17

    You mean to tell me that there wasn't another sheet of ice on the northeast avalon that they could of played on.Hell, it would've been better if they played shinny on Mundy Pond.You would think all arenas in the area would work together to prevent this,especially for a tournament.

  • Shane
    July 02, 2010 - 13:16

    I first heard of this situation about 20 minutes ago, so I don't claim to know all the details, but from what I've read, it's an unfortunate incident. Perhaps if the glass hadn't broken, we wouldn't even be having this discussion, but alas, here we are.

    Maybe the spitting and racial comments did occur. Maybe they didn't. I'm not going to say that that is acceptable, but I don't think that's the issue here.

    The issue here, which many people seem to have missed, is not how much better the Highlanders played than the Eagles. It's not the fact that a tournament had no clear cut winner. It's why the Highlanders weren't allowed on the ice to receive medals and the trophy, as they rightfully should have been.

    If the Highlanders and Eagles were co-champions, and you have an awards ceremony, I think it's only right to invite both your champions to this ceremony. Forget this later nonsense. Let the Highlanders acknowledge their friends and family who filled the stands the same way the Eagles should have acknowledged their support in the stands.

    The co-champion situation is odd, but it's what was agreed upon, and it isn't fair to publicly acknowledge only one of your co-champions.

  • Ryan
    July 02, 2010 - 13:16

    Being apart of the game between us(Auburn) and Mt. Pearl makes you notice how some of the players have no respect for anyone but themselves. Shaking hands with Mt.Pearl, several players were punched in the chest by Mt. Pearl players and then while waiting to receive our medals, comments were coming from behind the time keepers box that were unacceptable. While we were leaving the ice many players for Holy Heart and even Gonzaga were making vulgar comments towards our team. So saying that they were behind the time keepers box waiting to receive their medals is a load of crap because they were told if Auburn won they would recieve their medals in the near future.

  • CJ is grumpy
    July 02, 2010 - 13:15

    you couldn't borrow an pane of glass from another rink, or moved the game, or just moved a pane of glass in the same rink from one next to the benches?
    jez#z - what a crock of crap!

  • Scott
    July 02, 2010 - 13:13

    HNL is once again showing what they are all about.......Holy Heart did nothing but ask for what they were entitled to. Academy Canada do you really want your name attached to this mess. Do the right thing.....Apologize for your lack of fairness to the Holy Heart Hockey Team. They deserved the Championship, there was icetime available they could have used the Teir 2 championship time slot and let that game be played later. God forbid that the Mainlanders might have to play two games. The organizers took the easy way out, we all know we dont want to upset the teams from the mainland. Good Job Holy Heart, TIER 1 Confederation Champions.

  • DMAN
    July 02, 2010 - 13:12

    All this mess would of been avoided if the Torbay rink had an extra pane of glass...foolishness!

  • Paul
    July 02, 2010 - 13:12

    Very interesting tournament...
    THE GOOD - Great bus driver, thanks Pattie for taking care of us. Friendy hotel staff, rink staff and tournament organizers. These people made the boys and parents feel welcome with their Newfoundland charm.
    THE BAD - Good old time refereeing where you let them play . Oh they played until someone got injured or kicked out of the game. We played 6 games and wittnessed 11 players from the NL teams sent to the dressing rooms. Every game had a major incident. How can you expect teams to come over before playoffs if there is this going on?
    THE UGLY - Fans (students) spitting on players. Non-playing players interferring and the foolishness at the end. Things happen, we were fine with co-winners. What was their problem?
    I'll come back to visit your friendly island but not to let my son play hockey and be subjected to the foolishness.

  • John
    July 02, 2010 - 13:12

    First and foremost I want to congratulate the tournament organizers for a job well done. They are a class act who had to make difficult decisions that ultimately would not make everyone happy.
    The fact that the glass broke could not be foreseen. Sh__ happens as they say. As a result of this alterations had to made, not just for Auburn's sake but for all involved. Auburn does not have oodles of money, they are not an NHL team with deep pockets and had arranged their flight schedule with plenty of time to spare. So it is unfair to blame the Mainlanders for issues out of their control. Believe me when I say Auburns players were not happy with the opportunity to be co-winners, they wanted to win it outright. But when faced with the decison, they rose to the occasion and instead of going home quittors, they decided to play for the good of the tournament and the folks who laboured long and hard to put it together. Again congratulations to you all, and a special thanks to all those wonderful Newfoundlanders that we came across. And to Paddy our bus driver, without you and your warm personality, our victory would not have been possible. All the best.

  • David
    July 02, 2010 - 13:11

    Perks says while he agreed to co-championship teams in the meeting with Druken and tournament organizers, he didn't feel it was the best option since at that point, Auburn had a 4-1 record and his Highlanders were undefeated at 5-0.

    Too bad. You agreed. You can't change you're mind. Do you think many mainland teams will want to come back sfter this? Nothing like (some) Newfoundlanders to ruin a good thing over what?...stupidity.....greed

  • Auburn
    July 02, 2010 - 13:11

    For the record, we inquired to enter the Confederation Cup many months ago, needless to say a great deal of effort is needed to raise enough funds to allow an event like this to be obtainable. With this also comes some sacrifices along the way to make it work, for all you who questioned us leaving Sunday night, the tournament was fully aware months in advance that the only flight we could get out was at 7:40 pm Sunday night. The players are only entitled to a certain amount of excusable days for the purpose of hockey, thus why we could not stay until Monday, we had made arrangements to have our gear shipped on Monday so all players and personell could make the flight , which we did with about 1/2 to spare.
    To have our players loose excemption status from exams due to missed days in not an option with any hockey program I am aware of , certainly not ours. Please dont forget that first and foremost these are students participating and representing thier respective schools. We have participated in numerous tournaments this season , having been successful in winning the City of Lakes event earlier in the year at which time the Assecenion Team travelled from your province over to ours and faced high levels of competition which as a coach is very important. Our goal this season has never changed from having an opportunity to play for a Provincial Banner at year end which is the highlight of High school Hockey. Tournaments such as yours become a great level of competition which most teams are looking for and is certainly a key factor when arranging for events to participate in during the season. This was my third trip over for this event, a few years back I noticed that there where numerous teams from Atlantic Canada as well as Ontario , which adds alot of creditability to such an event, this year we happened to be the only Tier 1 team from outside your province, hopefully we provided good competition for your teams as yours did for us. I am sure our discipline levels did not go unnotticed and level of play added excitement and entertainment for organizers and fans alike. I had the opportunity to speak to a number of Newfoundland parents and they had very positive comments about this team, I can assure you that not one member of the Auburn Eagles would not have participated in a Final game and would have accepted the outcome win or loose. Unfortunately circumstances that could not be overcome had taken place and we where notified late Saturday evening that our game was changed for Sunday and that co-winners would be awarded. Nobody would normally agree with this however what choice does it leave, we actually finished up with a 5-1 record . I truly feel the position Holy Heart was left in, when I seen them all leaving the stands and heading to our bench area , I had no idea who they where, they could have been students from the school we where battling to the buzzer with on the ice, who knew??
    At that point the game was over and I just wanted to get my players off the ice safely and without incident, there where no presentations as the organizers where busy trying to figure out why they where down in that area we had a team picture and left. Its not all about winning, as we have all been taught along the way, however true competitors want to be champions , as we have all witnessed here. I congratulate the tournament organizers, rink staff, bus driver ect, our players enjoyed the competition and expierence. We had a backup goalie from your local community (due to an injury)who I can assure you had the time of his life with our team over the course of the weekend and would assure you we are a good group of guys...To the Holy Heart team, it was unfortunate we did not get the opportunity to meet, however hopefully we demonstrated team status that we can both come to grips with being co-champions , as we can not change the outcome at this point...We did recieve medals and a picture which we will proudly hang in our school, hopefully you recieve yours as well,then its only a plaque on a trophy which will have our names on it, just remember the decision was not ours, and all agreed prior to any games being played on Sunday, thus we will live with the outcome...Thanks for making us a better team !!!!!

  • Kieran
    July 02, 2010 - 13:10

    As a player on the Holy Heart team, I would like to clear up the confusion about what happened after the Auburn/Mount Pearl game. Our team went to watch the game initially to see who would win. As time wound down and it became clear that Auburn would win the game, we realized that both teams would be declared Co-Champions, and headed down to the area behind the benches from the stands, expecting to be awarded in the same way that Auburn would. Instead, we were told that Auburn would be presented with the medals and trophy, and we would get medals at a later date. Other than asking one of the organizers questions, we in no way interrupted the medal ceremony, despite having every right to partake in it. It was later decided that Auburn would receive their medals and the trophy in their dressing room. My question is this: If both teams were equal champions, why were we (Holy Heart) to be excluded from the medal presentations? Doesn't sound fair to me, especially since we had the best record and stats in the tournament. Even though we didn't like it, all my teammates and I were willing to go along with the Co-Champion ruling, and all we wanted was to be awarded equally. This of course was not done, and we are still without medals or a trophy, and a day that would have been filled with school spirit and pride was otherwise ruined.

  • John
    July 02, 2010 - 13:10

    Although I am the manager of the Auburn team I can't say that my comments reflect the official view of the team because I have not spoken with any of the coaching staff or the school rep.
    Someone once said that a compromise means no one walks away satisfied.
    But I have worked with Charlie Decker and Nelson Bailey for several months in arranging our trip to the Confederation Cup and I can tell you that the committee is a very well organized, diligent and fair-minded group.
    Our team was fully prepared to play two games back to back on Sunday and go home with or without any hardware but only after draining the tank. When Charlie called me Saturday night we were very disappointed to say the least when he told us about the problem and the resolution the committee had decided upon. But having been involved with the committee and knowing about their high level of integrity I knew it was the fairest possible solution if that game could not be played Saturday night. We did not ask them to do anything, so the sentiment of deferring to Mainlanders is a path that leads nowhere and is self-defeating.
    Mt. Pearl and Gonzaga were the toughest competition we played all year and there is no doubt in my mind that Holy Heart and St. Kevin's are in the same category. Our team would have loved a chance to play against Holy Heart. The fact they went 5-0 is something they have every right to be proud of but it doesn't mean our record of 5-1 makes them better. That is something that remains unknown due to a broken pane of glass. Snowstorms, broken down Zambonis, power failures and the like are nightmare scenarios for tournament committees. I know because I have been there.
    I want to thank all you wonderful folks who made us feel welcome. It was a wonderful experience for our boys-one they will always remember. Our thanks and congratulations go to the Committee for doing their very best under very difficult circumstances.

  • Wade
    July 02, 2010 - 13:09

    As a player of the Auburn Eagles I had a great time in NL and the hockey we played was some of the toughest hockey we have faced all year. The tournament organizers did the best they could with the circumstances they had faced. Aside from that people granting one team over the other for out right winners is not right. Both teams agreed the night prior on Co-Champions regardless of records. It was the next best thing. But about us booking our flights on Monday that's a crock. It's also a hard thing to do months prior when you don't even know if your team is going to make it to the finals, who knows we could of been out Saturday morning and would have to stick around to Monday??? That's a little far fetched in my opinion. Parents and coaches have to work and us players have to go to school. Also its a cost issue another night of lodging for the whole team. If we had another thousand bucks to spare I'm sure that could have been possible but said earlier we aren't made of money. I'll like to end on a high note so thanks once again to the people of NL for making us feel welcome and congrats to Holy Heart and Auburn.

  • Hockeyout
    July 01, 2010 - 20:25

    I read these comments and it's quite funny to see that the Boys from Holy Heart are still left out in the cold. Why was the Auburn team given the Championship medals and trophy in front of the crowd of family and peers of the Heart team. The boys wanted to be recognized as Champions or even co-champions. I guess its fine for Holy Heart to get presented with a medal somewhere down the road, maybe they should have been on the Ice and recognized for their efforts. If the organizers wanted to present the trophy and medals it should have been to EVERY player who was entitled. Seems that they wanted Holy Heart no where near the rink when they presented Auburn with the Championship. This was a big deal for the Holy Heart team, guess they will get their medals when the committe see's fit......they will be more then tarnished by that point. The organizers should take a look at how they dropped the ball on this and not blame 16 and 17 year olds. They only wanted to be recognized as being champions, in front of their families and friends. It could have been worked out for both teams to be there. Anyways nothing in this province surprises me when it comes to hockey. HNL first players last, always been that way always will be that way. TOO BAD!

  • Steve
    July 01, 2010 - 20:22

    Even though I never watched any of the confederation cup I feel bad for the kids of Holy Heart.It is nothing short of shameful that they were left out of championship presentation but still posted a 5 and 0 record.How HNL can make such a decion is beyond me.As for the team from NS it is unfortunate that they are cought up in this mess but one must realize that with any tournament comes delays in scheduling.To plan a trip to another prov.where the only way in and out is either by plan or boat and only have a hour and half grace is poor planning on someone part.If the Auburn could not play the championship game then there should have been another semi final game between St.Kevins and Mount Pearl with the winner going on to play Holy Heart or the championship should have been awarded to Holy Heart by default.
    Congrats Holy Heart

  • Neil
    July 01, 2010 - 20:16

    John Campbell from Dartmouth, NS --
    Now that is what you call class. Alot of people could learn a lesson from this guy.

  • hockeyguy
    July 01, 2010 - 20:13

    i just dont understand how a team traveling would book their flight for the same day as a championship game. even if everything went ahead as schedule the cahmpionship game would have been played at 4pm and the game would have ended around 6.
    so how is a team expected to make a flight at 7pm.
    you should have booked flight for the next day incase of something like glass breaking happening.
    holy heart should be the out right winners of this tournament with their 5-0 record
    while nova scotia had a 4-1 record and they couldnt make the final game.

  • David
    July 01, 2010 - 20:13

    Can you explain to me why a rink hosting a tournament of this calibre does not have the appropriate materials to fix a broken pane of glass. Come on. You talk about teams not wanting to come back. Embarrassing.

  • Staci
    July 01, 2010 - 20:10

    I go to holy heart and frankly find this really upsetting. The highlanders are an amazing hockey team, and i really do think that they should have won the trophy, because they won every single game!
    Yes, halifax should have gotten something too, but it's not the highlanders' fault that halifax could'nt play the championchip game.
    Holy heart should get something out of this!!

  • Randy Coady
    July 01, 2010 - 20:09

    Typical Newfoundland ! No matter what, from AHL to QMJHL, to that useless Mile one, everything is , as usual, a cluster-f##k!

  • Allison
    July 01, 2010 - 20:07

    Ideally, everyone would have enjoyed a tournament that went off without a hitch. Realistically, this rarely happens. Of course declaring co-champions was not the preferable option, but given the circumstances it certainly appears to be the most reasonable and just solution.

    However, declaring co-champions would entail TWO teams experiencing the glory and prestige of being winners. Medal and trophy presentations (regardless of the level or ability of the participants) are done at the end of an event to allow fellow participants of the tournament to acknowledge and congratulate the victors. Even if there weren't enough medals for both teams, it seems completely unfair to me that Auburn (through no fault of their own, they were simply complying with the procedures HNL had put in place) received sole recognition and possession of the tournament trophy while the Holy Heart boys were prevented from participating in a ceremony intended to recognize their co-victory.

    It's unfortunate that the schedule had to be altered, but HNL could have handled the medal presentations much more gracefully.

  • Joel
    July 01, 2010 - 20:06

    As a member of the Auburn Eagles I find some of the comments interesting. Our team consists of 16-18 year old's and we just want to play hockey. Do you think it was our choice, or even our suggestion to have co-champion's ? No. The tournament decided on this so why are you putting the weight on our shoulders and saying we don't deserve the title. We worked just as hard as Holy Heart and would have loved to face them in the finals. It's unfortunate that we were unable to face one another in the finals to see who truly deserved to win the Confederation Cup. Due to the fact of us having a loss in the round robin we don't deserve to be co-champions? This is very untrue. We earned our way to finals just as Holy Heart did. It's not our fault that we were thrown a scheduling conflict and couldn't make the finals. Considering the number of rinks in the area, the earliest our game could have been scheduled was 3:30pm? I find this hard to believe. So before more posts are added look at the facts. We had no power over what happened so don't take away from the effort we gave this weekend. I do agree that Holy Heart could have been on the ice with us after the game but we were in a hurry for our flight and also didn't have say on the final decision. The tournament ran into some issues and last minute decisions were made. That is life. I'm not sure what went on behind the time keepers box but it seems as though some one does and wasn't very happy about it.

  • Jacobsboy
    July 01, 2010 - 20:04

    I understand that the mainland teams and even the far away Newfoundland teams have travel considerations. But if you cannot make the final game or any game for any reason, you must forfeit. What would happen if say a team couldn't play for other reasons?? Would you just say o.k. and then award them the game?? The simplest way is to forfeit if you can't make it.

  • sarah
    July 01, 2010 - 20:04

    Ryan Morris ,
    You say that Heart's team were saying disrespectful things towards your team... yet i was there and i heard alot of very unacceptable comments coming from your team.Not only towards Holy Heart,but Newfoundland in general.

    I go to Holy Heart and of course our school is disappointed.But I also understand it was a co-win ; but it was a poor decision to not let Heart take any part in it.Not allowed on the ice to have a picture taken.Not even allowed to hold their trophy (which they rightfully deserved).People don't realise that The team was only going over to claim what was theirs,thinking they would at least be able to step foot on the ice.But apparently that wasn't allowed to happen.That doesn't seem like a fair way to settle things at all.

  • matt
    July 01, 2010 - 20:02

    Auburn should have been forced to forfeit the championship game finalizing Holy Heart as the Champions. Its not a picture perfect ending and not what anyone wanted or intended. But regardless of any conflicts, Auburn couldn't participate in the finals and should have lost by default. Holy Heart then should have been awarded the Hardware. Also if everyone did agree with the Co-Champion idea then both Holy Heart and Auburn should have been recognized at the same time.

  • Andrew
    July 01, 2010 - 20:01

    This is definately a difficult situation that with some forsight could have been handled better by the Host Committee.

    The Host Committee should review it's contingency planning for events such as this. They need to require teams to stay until Monday in the event of a winter storm, mechanical or technical failure at the arena, etc. Further to this they must work with the arena management groups to ensure the resources are in place to deal with a piece of broken glass etc.

    Unfortunately everyone is not happy with the decision made by the host committee given the travel constraints, however they should look long and hard to find ways to improve it so it does not happen again.

  • Jim
    July 01, 2010 - 20:00

    Come on people! Not one person involved any way with either team wanted anything to do with being Co-Champions !!!!! Something sounds fishy to me?????????? No replacement glass?? No extra icetime anywhere???? A piece of plywood???? Come on, What a mess. Let the kids play hockey!!!!! Remember, no matter how you feel about it, ITS STILL JUST A GAME!!!!!!!

  • Bill
    July 01, 2010 - 19:58

    I attended this tournament and was extremely impressed with the tournament committee, rink staff, our bus driver and tour guide Paddy as well as the hotel staff. All of these individuals went out of their way to make this an enjoyable experience for the players, coaches and parents of the Auburn Drive Eagles.
    In Nova Scotia High School teams are made up of players that play only high school. Players must decide bewteen minor hockey, Major Midget and High School they cannot play both or all three.
    It is very unfortunate that due to weather, a broken pane of glass and some other malfunctions fo equipment the tournament committee could not get all of the games in. The Auburn team flew over early Friday morninng and played two games Friday. Saturday the team played three games of hockey, winning their last game earning them the right to play in the semi finals Sunday morning at 11 am. Due to the broken pane of glass in one of the other arenas the other quarter final game was not played. The tournament committee worked well into Saturday Night to come up with a solution which was eventually agreed upon by all involved. The easiest solution was to have that quarter final game played at 8am Sunday morning as there was ice available in an arena. The unfortunate part would be that the teams would then have to play again at 11 in the semis and at 4 for the Championship. Three games in one day, as what had to be played by Auburn on Saturday.
    The Auburn team was booked on a flight home at 7:40 pm Sunday Night, this was done so they could play in the scheduled Championship game at 4 pm.
    All the teams in the tournament played very intense and it was sad to see some of the actions that occured on and off the ice. On two seperate occassions fans (students) spit on or at Auburn players. During one of these incidents, the coach of the Newfoundland team actually went across the ice to deal with these students, this was greatly appreciated by the team. On another occassion a racial comment was yelled from the players bench directed at an Auburn player. The coach of this team heard it and yelled at his player. This type of action has no place in the hockey arena or anywhere else.
    After winning the game against Mount Pearl there were players from Holy Heart behind the Auburn bench saying they were champions because they were 5-0 and for the team to go back to the mainland.
    It was not the Auburn players or coaches that decided on the course of action to complete the tournament. I would expect better from any local team, these comments and actions were not acceptable.
    Players at this age and level are representing their school, their sport and their Province. Some of the behaviour that was witnessed this weekend did not demonstrate what we would have expected when visiting for this tournament.

  • rod
    July 01, 2010 - 19:57

    You mean to tell me that there wasn't another sheet of ice on the northeast avalon that they could of played on.Hell, it would've been better if they played shinny on Mundy Pond.You would think all arenas in the area would work together to prevent this,especially for a tournament.

  • Shane
    July 01, 2010 - 19:56

    I first heard of this situation about 20 minutes ago, so I don't claim to know all the details, but from what I've read, it's an unfortunate incident. Perhaps if the glass hadn't broken, we wouldn't even be having this discussion, but alas, here we are.

    Maybe the spitting and racial comments did occur. Maybe they didn't. I'm not going to say that that is acceptable, but I don't think that's the issue here.

    The issue here, which many people seem to have missed, is not how much better the Highlanders played than the Eagles. It's not the fact that a tournament had no clear cut winner. It's why the Highlanders weren't allowed on the ice to receive medals and the trophy, as they rightfully should have been.

    If the Highlanders and Eagles were co-champions, and you have an awards ceremony, I think it's only right to invite both your champions to this ceremony. Forget this later nonsense. Let the Highlanders acknowledge their friends and family who filled the stands the same way the Eagles should have acknowledged their support in the stands.

    The co-champion situation is odd, but it's what was agreed upon, and it isn't fair to publicly acknowledge only one of your co-champions.

  • Ryan
    July 01, 2010 - 19:55

    Being apart of the game between us(Auburn) and Mt. Pearl makes you notice how some of the players have no respect for anyone but themselves. Shaking hands with Mt.Pearl, several players were punched in the chest by Mt. Pearl players and then while waiting to receive our medals, comments were coming from behind the time keepers box that were unacceptable. While we were leaving the ice many players for Holy Heart and even Gonzaga were making vulgar comments towards our team. So saying that they were behind the time keepers box waiting to receive their medals is a load of crap because they were told if Auburn won they would recieve their medals in the near future.

  • CJ is grumpy
    July 01, 2010 - 19:55

    you couldn't borrow an pane of glass from another rink, or moved the game, or just moved a pane of glass in the same rink from one next to the benches?
    jez#z - what a crock of crap!

  • Scott
    July 01, 2010 - 19:50

    HNL is once again showing what they are all about.......Holy Heart did nothing but ask for what they were entitled to. Academy Canada do you really want your name attached to this mess. Do the right thing.....Apologize for your lack of fairness to the Holy Heart Hockey Team. They deserved the Championship, there was icetime available they could have used the Teir 2 championship time slot and let that game be played later. God forbid that the Mainlanders might have to play two games. The organizers took the easy way out, we all know we dont want to upset the teams from the mainland. Good Job Holy Heart, TIER 1 Confederation Champions.

  • DMAN
    July 01, 2010 - 19:50

    All this mess would of been avoided if the Torbay rink had an extra pane of glass...foolishness!

  • Paul
    July 01, 2010 - 19:50

    Very interesting tournament...
    THE GOOD - Great bus driver, thanks Pattie for taking care of us. Friendy hotel staff, rink staff and tournament organizers. These people made the boys and parents feel welcome with their Newfoundland charm.
    THE BAD - Good old time refereeing where you let them play . Oh they played until someone got injured or kicked out of the game. We played 6 games and wittnessed 11 players from the NL teams sent to the dressing rooms. Every game had a major incident. How can you expect teams to come over before playoffs if there is this going on?
    THE UGLY - Fans (students) spitting on players. Non-playing players interferring and the foolishness at the end. Things happen, we were fine with co-winners. What was their problem?
    I'll come back to visit your friendly island but not to let my son play hockey and be subjected to the foolishness.

  • John
    July 01, 2010 - 19:49

    First and foremost I want to congratulate the tournament organizers for a job well done. They are a class act who had to make difficult decisions that ultimately would not make everyone happy.
    The fact that the glass broke could not be foreseen. Sh__ happens as they say. As a result of this alterations had to made, not just for Auburn's sake but for all involved. Auburn does not have oodles of money, they are not an NHL team with deep pockets and had arranged their flight schedule with plenty of time to spare. So it is unfair to blame the Mainlanders for issues out of their control. Believe me when I say Auburns players were not happy with the opportunity to be co-winners, they wanted to win it outright. But when faced with the decison, they rose to the occasion and instead of going home quittors, they decided to play for the good of the tournament and the folks who laboured long and hard to put it together. Again congratulations to you all, and a special thanks to all those wonderful Newfoundlanders that we came across. And to Paddy our bus driver, without you and your warm personality, our victory would not have been possible. All the best.

  • David
    July 01, 2010 - 19:48

    Perks says while he agreed to co-championship teams in the meeting with Druken and tournament organizers, he didn't feel it was the best option since at that point, Auburn had a 4-1 record and his Highlanders were undefeated at 5-0.

    Too bad. You agreed. You can't change you're mind. Do you think many mainland teams will want to come back sfter this? Nothing like (some) Newfoundlanders to ruin a good thing over what?...stupidity.....greed

  • Auburn
    July 01, 2010 - 19:48

    For the record, we inquired to enter the Confederation Cup many months ago, needless to say a great deal of effort is needed to raise enough funds to allow an event like this to be obtainable. With this also comes some sacrifices along the way to make it work, for all you who questioned us leaving Sunday night, the tournament was fully aware months in advance that the only flight we could get out was at 7:40 pm Sunday night. The players are only entitled to a certain amount of excusable days for the purpose of hockey, thus why we could not stay until Monday, we had made arrangements to have our gear shipped on Monday so all players and personell could make the flight , which we did with about 1/2 to spare.
    To have our players loose excemption status from exams due to missed days in not an option with any hockey program I am aware of , certainly not ours. Please dont forget that first and foremost these are students participating and representing thier respective schools. We have participated in numerous tournaments this season , having been successful in winning the City of Lakes event earlier in the year at which time the Assecenion Team travelled from your province over to ours and faced high levels of competition which as a coach is very important. Our goal this season has never changed from having an opportunity to play for a Provincial Banner at year end which is the highlight of High school Hockey. Tournaments such as yours become a great level of competition which most teams are looking for and is certainly a key factor when arranging for events to participate in during the season. This was my third trip over for this event, a few years back I noticed that there where numerous teams from Atlantic Canada as well as Ontario , which adds alot of creditability to such an event, this year we happened to be the only Tier 1 team from outside your province, hopefully we provided good competition for your teams as yours did for us. I am sure our discipline levels did not go unnotticed and level of play added excitement and entertainment for organizers and fans alike. I had the opportunity to speak to a number of Newfoundland parents and they had very positive comments about this team, I can assure you that not one member of the Auburn Eagles would not have participated in a Final game and would have accepted the outcome win or loose. Unfortunately circumstances that could not be overcome had taken place and we where notified late Saturday evening that our game was changed for Sunday and that co-winners would be awarded. Nobody would normally agree with this however what choice does it leave, we actually finished up with a 5-1 record . I truly feel the position Holy Heart was left in, when I seen them all leaving the stands and heading to our bench area , I had no idea who they where, they could have been students from the school we where battling to the buzzer with on the ice, who knew??
    At that point the game was over and I just wanted to get my players off the ice safely and without incident, there where no presentations as the organizers where busy trying to figure out why they where down in that area we had a team picture and left. Its not all about winning, as we have all been taught along the way, however true competitors want to be champions , as we have all witnessed here. I congratulate the tournament organizers, rink staff, bus driver ect, our players enjoyed the competition and expierence. We had a backup goalie from your local community (due to an injury)who I can assure you had the time of his life with our team over the course of the weekend and would assure you we are a good group of guys...To the Holy Heart team, it was unfortunate we did not get the opportunity to meet, however hopefully we demonstrated team status that we can both come to grips with being co-champions , as we can not change the outcome at this point...We did recieve medals and a picture which we will proudly hang in our school, hopefully you recieve yours as well,then its only a plaque on a trophy which will have our names on it, just remember the decision was not ours, and all agreed prior to any games being played on Sunday, thus we will live with the outcome...Thanks for making us a better team !!!!!

  • Kieran
    July 01, 2010 - 19:47

    As a player on the Holy Heart team, I would like to clear up the confusion about what happened after the Auburn/Mount Pearl game. Our team went to watch the game initially to see who would win. As time wound down and it became clear that Auburn would win the game, we realized that both teams would be declared Co-Champions, and headed down to the area behind the benches from the stands, expecting to be awarded in the same way that Auburn would. Instead, we were told that Auburn would be presented with the medals and trophy, and we would get medals at a later date. Other than asking one of the organizers questions, we in no way interrupted the medal ceremony, despite having every right to partake in it. It was later decided that Auburn would receive their medals and the trophy in their dressing room. My question is this: If both teams were equal champions, why were we (Holy Heart) to be excluded from the medal presentations? Doesn't sound fair to me, especially since we had the best record and stats in the tournament. Even though we didn't like it, all my teammates and I were willing to go along with the Co-Champion ruling, and all we wanted was to be awarded equally. This of course was not done, and we are still without medals or a trophy, and a day that would have been filled with school spirit and pride was otherwise ruined.

  • John
    July 01, 2010 - 19:46

    Although I am the manager of the Auburn team I can't say that my comments reflect the official view of the team because I have not spoken with any of the coaching staff or the school rep.
    Someone once said that a compromise means no one walks away satisfied.
    But I have worked with Charlie Decker and Nelson Bailey for several months in arranging our trip to the Confederation Cup and I can tell you that the committee is a very well organized, diligent and fair-minded group.
    Our team was fully prepared to play two games back to back on Sunday and go home with or without any hardware but only after draining the tank. When Charlie called me Saturday night we were very disappointed to say the least when he told us about the problem and the resolution the committee had decided upon. But having been involved with the committee and knowing about their high level of integrity I knew it was the fairest possible solution if that game could not be played Saturday night. We did not ask them to do anything, so the sentiment of deferring to Mainlanders is a path that leads nowhere and is self-defeating.
    Mt. Pearl and Gonzaga were the toughest competition we played all year and there is no doubt in my mind that Holy Heart and St. Kevin's are in the same category. Our team would have loved a chance to play against Holy Heart. The fact they went 5-0 is something they have every right to be proud of but it doesn't mean our record of 5-1 makes them better. That is something that remains unknown due to a broken pane of glass. Snowstorms, broken down Zambonis, power failures and the like are nightmare scenarios for tournament committees. I know because I have been there.
    I want to thank all you wonderful folks who made us feel welcome. It was a wonderful experience for our boys-one they will always remember. Our thanks and congratulations go to the Committee for doing their very best under very difficult circumstances.

  • Wade
    July 01, 2010 - 19:44

    As a player of the Auburn Eagles I had a great time in NL and the hockey we played was some of the toughest hockey we have faced all year. The tournament organizers did the best they could with the circumstances they had faced. Aside from that people granting one team over the other for out right winners is not right. Both teams agreed the night prior on Co-Champions regardless of records. It was the next best thing. But about us booking our flights on Monday that's a crock. It's also a hard thing to do months prior when you don't even know if your team is going to make it to the finals, who knows we could of been out Saturday morning and would have to stick around to Monday??? That's a little far fetched in my opinion. Parents and coaches have to work and us players have to go to school. Also its a cost issue another night of lodging for the whole team. If we had another thousand bucks to spare I'm sure that could have been possible but said earlier we aren't made of money. I'll like to end on a high note so thanks once again to the people of NL for making us feel welcome and congrats to Holy Heart and Auburn.