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Newfoundlanders competing for national university hockey titles

St. Francis Xavier men’s hockey coach Brad Peddle (second from the right) and assistants Brian Casey (right), Sean Donovan (left) and Dave Stewart pose with the Atlantic University Sport men’s hockey championship trophy after the X-Men defeated the University of New Brunswick for the conference title in Antigonish, N.S., last week. Peddle is from Goulds and Casey is from Grand Falls-Windsor. St. FX will compete for the U Sports Canadian men’s championship beginning today in Fredericton, N.B.
St. Francis Xavier men’s hockey coach Brad Peddle (second from the right) and assistants Brian Casey (right), Sean Donovan (left) and Dave Stewart pose with the Atlantic University Sport men’s hockey championship trophy after the X-Men defeated the University of New Brunswick for the conference title in Antigonish, N.S., last week. Peddle is from Goulds and Casey is from Grand Falls-Windsor. St. FX will compete for the U Sports Canadian men’s championship beginning today in Fredericton, N.B.

A number of Newfoundlanders will be chasing down Canadian university hockey championships beginning today.

In Fredericton, N.B., the AUS champion St. Francis Xavier X-Men, coached by Brad Peddle of Goulds, will compete for the University Cup at the U Sports men’s hockey tournament.
Aaron Hoyles of Gander is a second-year defenceman on the X-Men, while Marcus Cuomo of St. John’s is a first-year forward, although Cuomo has been sidelined since mid-February by a knee injury.
Brian Casey of Grand Falls-Windsor — who like Peddle is a former player for the X-Men — is in his second year as assistant coach for St. FX.
The X-Men lost in the 2016 national (then CIS) final to the University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds, who are hosting this year’s tournament, but are coming off a series sweep of UNB in this season’s best-of-three AUS final.

There is a third AUS entry in the national tourney— the Acadia Axemen — whose roster features two Newfoundland players, Scott Trask of Bonavista and Kris Hodge of C.B.S.
Meanwhile, Nicole Blanche of Dunville and Brooke Noseworthy of St. Anthony will be playing for the U Sports women’s hockey championship in Napanee, Ont.
Blanche and the Saint Mary’s Huskies downed Noseworthy and the St. FX X-Women 2-1 in the three-game AUS final series, finishing things off with a triple overtime victory, but St. FX also earned a berth in the national event.
Blanche, the 2016-17 AUS women’s hockey defensive player of the year, had five points and a plus-six rating in six playoff games and was named the conference’s female athlete of the week.
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There is a lot on the line for Rimouski Oceanic centre Tyler Boland in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s final two regular-season games this weekend.
Sixteen of the QMJHL’s 18 teams will make the playoffs and heading into Wednesday, the Oceanic were sitting 16th in the overall league standings.
Rimouski has 57 points, the same as the Halifax Mooseheads, who had played one fewer game. The Oceanic are a point ahead of the Sherbrooke Phoenix, who also had a game in hand as of Wednesday.
Rimouski faces the Quebec Remparts Friday at home and closes out its regular season Saturday in Drummondville against the Voltigeurs.
Boland is also in a race for the league scoring title as he and Vitalii Abramov of the Gatineau Olympiques each have 101 points, both on 46 goals and 55 assists.
Gatineau also has two games left.
Boland reached the 100-point mark on Friday, becoming the seventh Newfoundlander to hit the century mark in the league, joining Todd Gillingham, Michael Ryder, Marcus Power, Zach O’Brien, Patrick Yetman and Ryan Walsh, who did it twice.
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Four players from this province — three of them from Conception Bay South — finished as the leading scorers on their Maritime Hockey League (junior A) teams.
Kyle Tibbo of C.B.S. (Truro Bearcats), Jordan King of Corner Brook (Amherst Ramblers), Brady Griffin-Hefford (St. Stephen Aces) of C.B.S. and Michael Constantine (Miramichi Timberwolves) of C.B.S. are the team-toppers.
The quartet also finished in the top 12 of overall league scoring, with Tibbo (88 points) in third, King (80) fourth, Griffin-Hefford (62) 10th and Constantine (60) tied for 12th.
Tibbo’s 47 goals were more than any other player in the league and established a single-season Truro record, eclipsing a mark set by Bearcats' assistant coach and fellow Newfoundlander T.J. Smith, who is from the Northern Peninsula.
Constantine was the top-scoring defenceman in the league. In second place in point-scoring by league defencemen was Constantine’s teammate and Timberwolves captain Lee Dower, also from C.B.S.
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A couple of Newfoundlanders had their U.S. collegiate careers end recently.
The State University of New York (SUNY) conference champion Oswego Lakers, captained by senior Kenny Neil of Clarenville, were eliminated in the first round of the NCAA Division III men’s hockey tournament tournament. Neil had 59 goals and 122 points in 102 career games over four years with the Lakers.
Meanwhile, St. John’s native Shayne Morrissey of the Neumman Knights (ECAC West D3), leaves the Aston, Pa., school as its seventh all-time leading point-getter, with 108 points (40 goals, 68 assists) in 103 games.
Dunnville’s Robyn Foley, a defenceman with the University of Norwich (Conn.) Cadets, is still playing as Norwich has advanced to the second round of the NCAA women’s Division III championship after beating Middlesbury College 5-4 in double overtime in Northfield, Vermont on Saturday. The Cadets, ranked fourth in the nation among D3 teams, will face Plattsburgh State in Adrian, Mich., on Friday.
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It’s that time of the year when regular seasons in many leagues are ending or have ended, and playoffs are getting underway.
Among others who can be found in our Newfoundlanders Away statistical listing (in Thursday’s print edition of The Telegram) and who are heading into — or have already begun — post-season play are Luke Adam and Mark Lee in European pro leagues, and Adam Dawe  and Luke McCaw in the Canadian junior A ranks.
There are also many players who are making their final appearances on our list this season, as their teams either failed to advance past the regular season or who have been knocked out of the playoffs.
Besides those we’ve already mentioned, those players include Scott Trask, Kris Hodge and Abby Clarke (AUS), Donnie Churchill (Alberta Colleges), Spencer Norcott (WSHL), Liam Careen (USPH), Tyler Planetta (NOJHL), Kyle Alaverdy (CCHL), Evan Mosher and Chris Owens (Europe), and Jonathan Coffey, Matthew Edgecombe, Thomas Hedges, Curtis Scales, James Locke, Adam Nolan, Curtis Scales, Drew Stonehouse, Nick Fitzgerald and Riley Gill, all in the Maritime junior league.
Ian Smallwood’s Maritime league team, the Woodstock Slammers, is among those that have been eliminated, but Smallwood has been recalled by the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s Saint John Sea Dogs, who could be poised for a long playoff run.
As well, Sarah Davis of Paradise is finished her Canadian Women’s Hockey League season, after her CWSHL team, the Calgary Inferno, was defeated by the Montreal Les Canadiennes in the league final. However, Davis is not done playing as she is part of the Canadian entry in the world women’s hockey championship, beginning in Plymouth, Mich., in just a little over two weeks from now.

bmcc@thetelegram.com


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