Second Gonzaga squad, put together at the last minute, makes noise in Tier II division with berth in the final; Flyers clinch first in senior's Central Division; Blades pad first-place lead in junior
Evan Knight and Murray Byrne both scored a pair of goals to power the Gonzaga Vikings to a 7-2 win over the Mount Pearl Senior High Huskies to win the 21st Confederation Cup high school hockey Tier I championship Sunday at the Goulds Arena.
Earlier in the day, the Marystown Central High Clippers trimmed a second Gonzaga Vikings squad, Gonzaga Gold, 8-3 for their second straight Tier II crown.
Ryan Kelly, Eric Knight and Sean Hickey also scored for the Vikings in the Tier I title game. Alex French and Dawson O’Toole-Didham had the goals for the Huskies, who entered the tournament as Tier I defending champions.
In semifinal play, Gonzaga doubled Holy Heart Highlanders 4-2, while the Huskies downed O’Donel Patriots 6-3.
Prior to the Huskies’ win last year, it was the Highlanders who won in 2016 and 2017. Gonzaga won the championship in 2015.
The story of the tournament, however, might be Gonzaga Gold.
After St. James Regional High of Port aux Basques withdrew prior to the start of the tournament, Gonzaga opted to enter a second team. The players, who did not have an opportunity to practice with each other, lost their first two games, but then rebounded with two victories.
That created a three-way tie with Carbonear Collegiate and Holy Spirit, and based on goals for against with each of the three teams, Gonzaga advanced to the semifinals, where the Gold-clad squad defeated Holy Trinity 2-1 in semifinal play. Marystown advanced with a 4-2 semifinal win over Prince of Wales Collegiate.
In the championship game, Patrick Farrell scored three goals for Marystown, and Liam Best had two. Singles came from Zack Walters, Ethan Walsh and Jackson Appleby. Josh Cooke, Daniel Sullivan and Daniel Dolomount scored for Gonzaga Gold.
Connors helps Tigers win Ivy League crown
Maggie Connors of St. John’s, the freshman star on the Princeton Tigers women’s hockey team, helped the Tigers win the Ivy League championship over the weekend.
Princeton defeated Brown University Friday night 8-2 on four goals by Connors, and then beat Yale 4-2 Saturday, with Connors scoring again, to complete its undefeated Ivy League season at 8-0-2 as the Tigers claimed the championship for the eighth time.
The Tigers, ranked fifth in NCAA women’s hockey, are one of the favourites for the ECAC conference championship in which they’re 14-1-3 and alone in first place.
Connors in second on her team in scoring, and seventh in the conference with 22 goals and 35 points in 25 games.
Flyers nail down first in Central senior division
The Gander Flyers clinched first place in provincial senior hockey’s Central Division Sunday with a 7-3 decision over their only central rival, the Grand Falls-Windsor Cataracts.
The Cataracts won the first game of the two-game, home-and-home series 2-0 Saturday night.
Sunday at the Steele Community Centre in Gander, the homestanding Flyers received goals from seven different players in a 7-3 win. Michael Mason, Lucas McKay, Andrew Paul, Nick Fitzgerald, Jon Coffey, Mitch Oake and Patrick O’Keefe scored for the Flyers. Michael Cole, David Byrne and Nick Lindstrom had the Grand Falls-Windsor goals.
Saturday at Joe Byrne Memorial Stadium in Grand Falls-Windsor, A.J. Whiffen provided shutout goaltending and Lindstrom had two goals, including one into an empty net, as the Cats won 2-0.
Friday at Jack Byrne Arena, the visiting Southern Shore Breakers beat the Northeast Eagles 6-2 on two goals and one assist from Stephen Oates, and one goal and two helpers from Jeremy Nicholas. Michael Chafe, Matthew Oates and Andrew Gale also scored for the winners. Daniel Cadigan collected three assists.
Brady Holwell and Tyler Parsons had the Northeast goals.
Two games were played Sunday night. St. John’s played host to the Clarenville Caribous at Twin Rinks, while the Conception Bay Blues traveled to Mobile to play the Breakers at the Southern Shore Arena.
Blades have Renegades number in race for first
The Mount Pearl Mark’s Blades opened up a four-point lead on the CBR Renegades in the race for first-place in the Mary Brown’s St. John’s Junior Hockey League with a 3-1 win over the Renegades Saturday night.
At the C.B.S. Arena, the Blades got goals from Mitch McGrath, Jack Keough and Brady Normore to register their 46th point on the season. The Renegades are second with 42 points.
The Blades started the game with only 10 forwards and five defenceman and finished with nine and four thanks to a couple of untimely injuries.
In head-to-head meetings between the junior league’s top two squads this season, the Blades have come out on top four times, winning 3-0, 7-5, 4-3 and Saturday’s 3-1 result.
In other junior games, it was: St. John’s Caps over Trinity-Placentia Flyers Saturday night at Twin Rinks, after the Caps dropped a 9-2 decision to the Southern Shore Breakers Friday night at the Southern Shore Arena.
Midget hockey semifinals tied at a game apiece
The best-of-seven Newfoundland Major Midget Hockey League semifinals are tied up at a game apiece following weekend play in metro St. John’s.
And both series’ saw upsets in their opening games. At the Goulds Arena Saturday night, first-place East Coast Blizzard suffered a 4-3 loss to fourth-place Tri-Pen Osprey. The Blizzard rebounded Sunday for a 5-4 win.
At The Glacier in Mount Pearl Saturday night, second-place St. John’s Maple Leafs dropped a 3-1 decision to the Western Kings, but rebounded Sunday for a 5-3 win at the Southern Shore Arena.
The midget league will now break from its play for two weeks to accommodate the 2019 Canada Winter Games, which open Friday in Red Deer, Alta. Playoffs resume March 1-3 weekend.