AMHERST – Just as they had all weekend, the Sydney Steelers scored early and often en route to a 5-2 win over the Sackville Flyers to claim the Nova Scotia Bantam AA Hockey Championship here Sunday.
Mitchell Johnston scored two goals before the game was 10 minutes old as the Steelers jumped out to an early 3-0 lead.
Johnston also added two assists while Colton Marchand had two goals and three assists for the Steelers. Sean Smith scored once, while Andrew Smith, Andrew MacLeod, Landon Gould and Jonathan Doyle added assists.
David Comeau and Kyle Carter scored for Sackville, while Carter added a single assist and Mason Jenkins had two.
“It was a great weekend. It was a well run tournament by the host committee and the kids had a great time,” coach Jim Smith said after the gold medal win. “The boys played hard all weekend. We’re a good solid team and good defensively.
“Sackville beat us down in the Pictou tournament and we knew they were going to be a good team. They have a couple of great forwards that we had to shutdown. Our goaltending was solid and the boys just took it home.”
The Steelers earned a berth in the final with a 9-4 win over the Glace Bay Miners, who knocked them off to win the Cape Breton championship last weekend and defeated them during the round robin portion of the tournament.
Johnston had four goals for Sydney in the semifinal, while Marchand had three goals and three assists. Shane Porga and Liam Moore added single goals for the Steelers, who led 5-1 at one time before Glace Bay scored three times in the second to close to within a goal.
Nathan Livingston scored two goals and added an assist for Glace Bay with Connor Campbell adding a goal and an assist and Jack Summerell adding a goal.
In the other semifinal, Sackville advanced with a 4-0 win over the South Shore Ice Sharks, who entered the tournament as the second seed.
Connor Theriault scored two goals for Sackville in the win with Carter adding a goal and an assist and Comeau scoring once.
Dakota Leyland recorded the shutout.
The host Cumberland County Amherst Insurance Ramblers went 1-3 in the tournament. After losing 12-4 to Sydney and 4-1 to Sackville, the Ramblers bounced back Friday with a 5-3 win over the Yarmouth Mariners.
Colton Hiltz scored two goals and Madison Colford had a goal and an assist, while Joel McCrossin had a goal. Chad Miller, Brandon Greeno, Chandler MacKinnon, Brody Deegan and Reuben MacKenzie each had assists.
Brandon Sullivan scored twice for Yarmouth with Brett Mercier scoring once.
The Ramblers lost 5-2 to South Shore in their final round robin game as Alex Miller and Alex Wentzell each scored twice and Max Hartling scored once.
Greeno and Colford scored for the Ramblers with Deegan adding an assist.
Goalie Dakota Layland of Sackville, defencemen Cole Jacquard of Yarmouth and Colin Campbell of South Shore and forwards Colton Marchand of Sydney, Alex Miller of South Shore and Madison Colford of Cumberland County were named to the tournament all-star team.
Top scorer was Sean Smith of Sydney, top defenceman was Alex Pace of Chebucto, top goalie was Parker Rowter of South Shore, most sportsmanlike player was Andrew MacLeod of Sydney and most valuable player was Sean Smith of Sydney.
In Springhill, the Halifax Hawks defeated the Acadia Axemen 4-1 to win the Peewee AA championship.
The host Cumberland County Amherst Pharmasave Ramblers went 0-3 in the three-day event.