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Yarmouth enters Fred Page Cup on a roll

The Yarmouth Mariners went 12-2 in the playoffs to claim the inaugural Canadian Tire Cup as champions of the Maritime Junior Hockey League. This is coach Laurie Barron’s third time as a coach at the Fred Page Cup, but his first as head coach.
The Yarmouth Mariners went 12-2 in the playoffs to claim the inaugural Canadian Tire Cup as champions of the Maritime Junior Hockey League. This is coach Laurie Barron’s third time as a coach at the Fred Page Cup, but his first as head coach. - Contributed

First of three articles on teams participating in the 2018 Fred Page in Amherst from May 1 to 5

AMHERST, N.S. —

Laurie Barron is hoping the third time is the charm.

Barron, a former Amherst Ramblers player, is coming back to Amherst behind the bench with the Yarmouth Mariners as the MHL champions at the Fred Page Cup.

The Mariners clinched the league title, their first in a decade, with a four-game sweep of the Campbellton Tigers in the Canadian Tire Cup final on April 19.

“We have a nice mix of veteran presence and younger players who bring a lot of energy,” Barron said. “We’re hard on the forecheck and I think we play a pretty upbeat style.”

While the Mariners had a bit of a break before the Fred Page Cup, Barron said he sees his club continuing its momentum into the Fred Page Cup.

“I’ve been coaching a long time, but this is probably the team that had the best group of kids, they really care about each other. It’s all about we and not about me,” he said. “It’s a good group and they’re fun to coach.”

Barron said every game in the Fred Page Cup is important and he’s not prepared to take any team for granted. The biggest thing he said is avoiding the league championship hangover that sometimes affects teams heading into the tournament.

“We’re going to be ready to go. We want to end this season on a good note and take a run at it,” Barron said.

Offensively, the Mariners were led by Matt Barron, who had 31 goals and 41 assists for 72 points, while Brett Crossley had 24 goals and 38 assists for 62 points and Andrew Martell had 22 goals and 37 assists for 59 points.

Martell, Barron, Brent Broaders, Crossley and Logan Timmons led the way in the playoffs offensively as the Mariners only lost two games.

Defensively, the club has a veteran presence with Chris Goreham, Derrick Johnson (who had 10 goals and 31 points from the point), Noah McMullin and Shawn Guison while rookie Tyler Caseley’s 2.55 goals against average and 25-7-2 record during the season was among the best in the league.

“We have a lot of depth. On any given night it could be two or three guys and the next night it could be two or three other guys. If you’re going to come after us you can’t just focus on one line, it’s pretty spread out,” Barron said. “We have a lot of depth.”

Yarmouth opens Wednesday against Princeville at 3 p.m. and plays the Ramblers on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. before concluding round robin action at 3 p.m. Friday against Ottawa.

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