Hockey teams from Bridgetown High School and Forest Heights High School, from Chester Basin, have been accepted to play in the Valley High School Hockey League (VHSHL) for the upcoming 2013-14 season.
The two teams will join the league, which is comprised of Avon View High School, of Windsor, Horton High School, of Greenwich, Parkview Education Centre, of Bridgewater, Northeast Kings High School, of Canning, Central Kings High School, of Cambridge, West Kings High School, of Auburn, Middleton Regional High School and Digby High School.
The teams decided upon an 18-game regular season, with each team playing a home and home against the nine other clubs. It was also decided the regular season would begin a week earlier — on Oct. 11 — to ensure a complete and finished schedule can be accomplished, which has been a problem in recent years.
It was also agreed upon that a playoff format would be put in place to decide a league champion, with the top four teams making the playoffs. The format would see the fourth place team playing first place and the second place team playing third in sudden-death elimination games, with the winners to play a single championship game the following day.
The playoffs are anticipated to take place sometime in mid-March between the end of the Western Zone regional play-downs and the NSSAF Championship Tournament in late March.
The teams all supported using a four-team officiating system for three home and three away games this season and it was also stressed that principals at all high schools must be notified this season of any student athlete suspension per NSSAF guidelines. If a player wants to appeal a suspension handed down, the appeal must be launched through their school principal.
Besides the 18-game regular season tournament, a number of teams also plan to host tournaments, with the three largest ones scheduled for the Valley region.
Kings Mutual Century Centre in Berwick will play host to the first large tournament Oct. 18-20, with teams from across Nova Scotia playing including J.L Ilsley and Amherst. This tournament will be hosted by West Kings.
The second large tournament will be the 22nd annual Birthplace of Hockey Tournament in Windsor in mid-November, and the third will be the annual Fred Kelly Hockey Classic hosted by Horton High during the Christmas holiday.