Twenty young hockey players from across the province, including two from southwestern Nova Scotia, will represent Nova Scotia at the 2014 Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) Excellence Challenge in May.
On March 31 Hockey Nova Scotia officially announced the roster that will compete at the tournament beginning on May 1. Team Nova Scotia will be facing off against the best midget-aged players from Hockey New Brunswick, Hockey Newfoundland, Hockey PEI as well as two teams representing Hockey Quebec.
“Selecting this team is a long, arduous process,” said Bill Short, head scout of the Hockey Nova Scotia High Performance Program. “Since last summer, we’ve been evaluating some of the best young hockey players in Nova Scotia and we are proud of the roster we’ve selected to represent the province.”
Backstopping Team Nova Scotia in goal are Evan Fitzpatrick (Newbridge Academy Gladiators, NSMMHL/Lower Sackville) and Mark Grametbauer (Cole Harbour Pro Hockey Life WolfPack, NSMMHL/Halifax).
Team Nova Scotia’s blueline will be composed of defencemen Hunter Hurlburt (Ontario Hockey Academy, OEMMHL/Yarmouth), Christopher Goreham (South Shore Mustangs, NSMMHL/Clarks Harbour), Nicholas Ormon (Halifax McDonalds, NSMMHL/Halifax), Luke Green (Newbridge Academy Gladiators, NSMMHL/Bedford), Morgan Nauss (Halifax McDonalds, NSMMHL/Hammonds Plains), and Matt Sartoris (Weeks Major Midgets, NSMMHL/New Glasgow).
Playing up front for Team Nova Scotia are forwards Ryan MacDonald (Newbridge Academy Gladiators, NSMMHL/Middle Sackville), Alex Arab (Cole Harbour Pro Hockey Life WolfPack, NSMMHL/Bedford), Jacob Hickey (Halifax McDonalds, NSMMHL/Hammonds Plains), Declan Smith (CB West Islanders, NSMMHL/St. Andrews), Noah Archibald (Weeks Major Midgets, NSMMHL/Truro), Keith Getson (South Shore Mustangs, NSMMHL/Bridgewater), Matt Green (Newbridge Academy Gladiators, NSMMHL/Bedford), Johnny Foley (Newbridge Academy Gladiators, NSMMHL/Hammonds Plains), Brett Crossley (Shattuck-St. Mary’s, US Prep/Dartmouth), Michael O’Leary (Salisbury Prep School, US Prep/Halifax), Mitchell Balmas (Cape Breton Tradesmen, NSMMHL/Sydney), and Barrett Dachyshyn (Halifax McDonalds, NSMMHL/Halifax).
“This is a fantastic opportunity for these young men to hit the ice against not only the best midget-aged players from our region but the best players in Quebec, too,” Short said.
The team will be led by head coach Troy Ryan (Campbellton Tigers, Maritime Jr. A Hockey League) and assistant coaches Danny MacKinnon (Cole Harbour Pro Hockey Life WolfPack, NSMMHL) and Bob Mayo (Newbridge Academy Gladiators, NSMMHL). Chris Waugh (Dalhousie Tigers, CIS) will serve as the team's trainer while Danielle McNally (Campbellton Tigers, Maritime Jr. A Hockey League) will act as the team's therapist.
Team Nova Scotia leaves for the tournament on Sunday, April 27. The tournament takes place at the Centre d’Excellence Sport Rousseau in Blainville-Boisbriand, Quebec, from May 1-4. The team will also participate in the Under Armour Combine on Wednesday, April 30 before facing off against Team PEI in their first game on Thursday, May 1.
Hockey Nova Scotia would like to congratulate all of the players named to our 2014 QMJHL Excellence Challenge roster and thank all of the players who took part in the High Performance Program selection process.
Follow @HockeyNS on Twitter for updates during the QMJHL Excellence Challenge.