The competition at the rink at the East Coast Ice Jam was nothing like the troubles the Pinnacle Growlers midget hockey team have had to deal with coming and going from the Halifax tournament.
The St. John’s metro-based Growlers, one of five Newfoundland and Labrador teams playing in the annual tourney, were forced to play their three preliminary-round games at the event in the space of 18 hours.
That’s because their equipment ended up in Toronto instead of Halifax. So while play in the Ice Jam’s midget division began Wednesday afternoon, a readjusted and compressed schedule had the Growlers playing their first game at 9 p.m. Thursday, their second at 8 a.m. Friday and their third at 3 o’clock Friday afternoon.
The team wound up with a win and two losses and just missed advancing to the round of 16.
But to add to their woes — and their displeasure with Air Canada — the team’s return flight to St. John’s Sunday was cancelled after a long delay. They weren’t able to rebook on Monday, meaning they are now scheduled to flight out just after 8 a.m. NT this morning.
“Needless to say this trip has been trying on the team … certainly (hope) @aircanada and all airlines can work with @EastCoastIceJam in the future,” read a tweet on the Growlers’ Twitter account (@AAAGrowlers).
The Growlers’ Tanner Humber-Dredge, who scored four of his team’s six goals in the tourney, was named a second-team all-star at forward, as was Nicholas Moore of the East Coast Blizzard, one of the five other Newfoundland entries in the tourney.
The Tri-Pen Osprey were the only N.L. team to play in the round of 16. The Osprey were also 1-2-0 in preliminary play, but advanced because of the tie-breaking formula.
The Osprey’s tourney was ended by a 2-0 loss to the Halifax McDonalds, who would finish as runner-up to the Dartmouth Steele Subaru in the tourney.