PARRSBORO – Winning the provincial championships in hockey is not easy. Repeating that feat is even more challenging, according to coach Matt Smith.
Smith’s team, the Parrsboro Midget ‘A’ Predator girls, will host the tournament at the Lions Arena on March 22-24, after winning the town’s first provincial banner for a female team one year ago.
“It’s tougher because, as last year’s champion, everyone’s looking to knock you off,” he said. “When they come to play us, everyone brings their A game because no one likes to see a repeat.”
The Predators found themselves in somewhat of a rebuilding mode this year after losing several key players from last year’s squad. The result was a slow start to the season, but the coach said the new players have developed well, and the team will be ready when the puck drops.
“Defensively, we’re just as good as we were last year,” he said. “Offensively, it’s a growing year for us.”
Team captain Maddie Currie said it is an exciting time for the team, and going in as champions works to their advantage, because they know what to expect.
“I have full faith in my team going into provincials and coming out champions once again,” she said. “After winning last year, I want all these new girls to experience the same feelings I had last year from winning.”
She said many people are helping to get things ready, and Smith credited vital sponsors such as Ron and Doreen Smith, Tim and Marlene Greeno, the Parrsboro Co-Op, Carter’s Sports Cresting, Upham’s Carstart Collision Service, the Parrsboro Lions, Granby Furnaces, Harrison’s Home Hardware and Sargent’s Ford for making it possible.
Joining Parrsboro to compete at the tournament will be teams from Amherst, Bedford, Yarmouth and Cape Breton. A schedule will be posted in next week’s Citizen-Record.