AMHERST – Three provincial hockey championships are on tap for Cumberland County this weekend.
The Bantam AA provincial’s start today at Amherst Stadium when the Ramblers face off against Sydney at 12 p.m. at Amherst Stadium
The Peewee AA provincials start Friday when the Ramblers face off against Truro at 11 a.m. at the Dr. Carson and Marion Murray Community Centre in Springhill.
The Female Midget A provincials also start on Friday at 11 a.m. when the tournament host, Parrsboro, faces off against the Cumberland County Community Credit Union Ramblers at the Parrsboro arena.
Bantam coach Mike MacKenzie said his team is looking good going into the tournament.
“The boys have to stay disciplined and stay out of the penalty box,” said MacKenzie. “A lot of these other teams have really good power plays, so you have stay out of the penalty box.”
He said his team will have to play consistent hockey.
“We cannot take any shifts off,” said MacKenzie. “Each shift will be 35 to 40 seconds and then they’ll get off and let the next line go.
“It should be some good hockey and if we do what we can do we could come out on top,” he added. “If we do the little things right we could win it all.”
Peewee Ramblers coach Shawee Tooley’s team won the Bluenose tournament this year. Tooley said he hopes they work as hard for this tournament as they did at the Bluenose.
“There’s a lot of tough competition, so they’ll need to outwork the other teams if the want to bring home the hardware,” said Tooley. “We have a very hard working team, so getting them to work hard shouldn’t be a problem.
“It would be nice to be both the Bluenose champs and the provincial champs,” added Tooley.
Credit Union coach Chuck Linney said the five teams in the Female Midget A tournament seem very balanced heading into provincials.
“The Bedford Blues and Yarmouth Mariners finished one, two in league," said Linney. "Cape Breton Islanders has one weapon and that’s Carrissa Carey who played three seasons with the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles before joining the Islanders this season. Shutting her down will be the key to beating them.”
Parrsboro is the defending provincial champions, is well-coached and likely boasts the best goaltender, Tor McCrindle, and one of the top defencemen, Jessica Johnson, in the province at the A level.
“The keys to our team to be successful this weekend will be discipline, hard work and puck movement as we can be dangerous when we move the puck well,” said Linney. “It’s the sort of tournament that every game could be decided by one mistake that a team makes, so we will have to be at the top of our game.
“We have a few players who are looking at an opportunity to head into the off season with two gold medals and one bronze in four years,” he added. “We are heading into the event with a full bench, something that has eluded us the entire season, with exception of maybe three of the 45 games played.”
The Schedule is as follows:
BANTAM AA Ramblers play at Amherst Stadium:
Seedings: 1. Sydney 2. South Shore 3. Yarmouth 4. Sackville 5. Chebucto 6. Glace Bay 7. Cumberland
12 p.m. Cumberland vs. Sydney
4:45 p.m. - (or 5:00) Opening ceremonies
6 p.m. - Sackville vs. Cumberland
10 a.m. - Yarmouth vs. Cumberland
4 p.m. - Cumberland vs. South Shore
2:00 p.m. - Skills competition
8:30 a.m. - 4 vs. 1
10:30 a.m. - 3 vs. 2
2 p.m. - Championship game
PEEWEE AA Ramblers play at Springhill:
11:00 a.m. - Cumberland vs. Truro
4:30 p.m. - Opening ceremonies
5 p.m. - Halifax vs. Cumberland
8:30 a.m. - Acadia vs. Cumberland
12:30 p.m. - Cumberland vs. Dartmouth
2:30 p.m. - Skills competition
11 a.m. - Championship game (2nd v. 1st)
FEMALE MIDGET A play at Parrsboro Arena:
11 a.m. Parrsboro vs. Cumberland
3 p.m. - Cumberland vs. Yarmouth
5 p.m. - Cape Breton vs. Parrsboro
8:30 a.m. - Yarmouth vs. Parrsboro
10:30 a.m. - Cumberland vs. Cape Breton
12:30 p.m. - Parrsboro vs. Bedford
6 p.m. - Bedford vs. Cumberland
11 a.m. – Championship Game