Central Kings Gators gain Fred Kelly tournament crown

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Former Acadia great Neil Price part of opening ceremonies

The Central Kings Gators captured the championship of the Fred G. Kelly boys’ high school hockey tournament, defeating Forest Heights Falcons 1-0 in the Dec. 28 championship game in Wolfville.

The holiday tournament returned to Wolfville this year and took back the Fred Kelly name, after being played in Berwick the past two years as the Horton Memorial tournament.

Jacob Shepherd scored the game’s only goal, while Ben Best earned the shutout for the Gators with a solid performance in goal.

The Gators “played very well, very disciplined and unselfish. They really put it all on the line,” head coach Dave Allen said, adding Best “stood on his head” in goal in the final.

It was Forest Heights’ first loss of the season.

Central Kings advanced to the final of the four-team event with a 1-0 victory over the host Griffins.  Forest Heights had a by to the final.

Central Kings went 1-1-1 in the round robin. Horton and NKEC both finished at 1-2, but the Griffins claimed third place and a berth in the semifinal by virtue of a 3-2 win over NKEC when the teams met head-to-head.To show how competitive the tournament was, the semifinal between Horton and Central Kings and the final between CK and Forest Heights were both decided by the same 1-0 score.

Former Acadia hockey great Neil Price took part in the opening ceremonies of the Fred Kelly Tournament.  His grandson Noel is a former Horton player and another grandson, Gabe, is currently on the Horton team.

Born in 1916, Price entered Acadia University with the Class of 1940 where he was an essential part of the hockey team’s success as goalie. During the 1940 season, goalie Price was captain of the hockey team, but did not let his added responsibilities detract from his net minding. With consistently excellent play, the team won the Western Nova Scotia title, the Nova Scotia intercollegiate crown and the Maritime intercollegiate hockey title, the latter title claimed by Acadia for the first time. For his play, Price became the first recipient of the Orlay Bligh trophy. He also played interclass and varsity baseball and interclass hockey. Price was campus photographer during his time at Acadia, photo editor of the yearbook. After graduation in 1940, he served with the RCAF, received a law degree from the University of New Brunswick in 1949 and returned to Acadia for a Bachelor of Theology in 1955 and a Master of Divinity in 1958. Price served as a Baptist minister in a number of churches in the Maritimes.

 

 

Organizations: Acadia University, University of New Brunswick

Geographic location: Acadia, Wolfville, Forest Heights Nova Scotia

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