Midget X Hockey League teams anxiously await labour dispute decision

Published on February 2, 2017

The Clippers go for a rebound shot as the Warriors look to defend their net.

©Carole Morris-Underhill

WINDSOR, N.S. — Until the teachers decide what they are going to do in terms of their labour action, the West Hants Warriors and all teams in the Nova Scotia Midget X Hockey League’s Southern Division have decided to stick with Hockey Nova Scotia’s schedule.

It’s anticipated the teachers, who have been working to rule since December — with the exception of one week — will vote on Feb. 8 on a proposed contract between the NSTU and the province.

Their ongoing labour dispute caused high school sports to be suspended across the province. However, that didn’t stop hockey players from finding a work-around and creating a new league.

Andrew Parsons, a Canning Clippers forward, makes an attempt on the West Hants Warriors net.

©Carole Morris-Underhill

This assistant captain with the West Hants Warriors was ready to be passed the puck.
Carole Morris-Underhill

West Hants Warriors manager Scott Lloy said in an interview with the Valley Journal Jan. 27 that they’ve had “tremendous support” from the parents who are associated with the team since the teachers began their work to rule.

If the teachers ratify this latest agreement, the Midget X teams will return to play in the Valley High School Hockey League for three weekends.

“The general consensus is that the boys now playing for the Warriors would truly like to finish their high school years by playing for their high school team because of the pride they have in representing their school,” said Lloy.

Asked what would happen if the interim agreement is vetoed by the Nova Scotia Teacher’s Union, Lloy said “that would be a different animal to deal with” because the Warriors would remain in the Midget X Hockey League and move onto provincials in the SEDMHA Tournament as originally outlined by Hockey Nova Scotia.  

The game between the West Hants Warriors and Canning Clippers was a fast-paced affair Jan. 28, with the Clippers winning 3-2.

©Carole Morris-Underhill

Darren Cossar, the executive director of Hockey Nova Scotia, has assured all Midget X teams that they will be refunded any money put toward a SEDMHA Provincial Tournament. If the teacher’s ratify the agreement, high school hockey teams in Western and Southern Nova Scotia would begin their provincial regionals March 3-5.

On Feb. 9, it’s anticipated the NSSAF will announce the status of provincial championships for such sports as hockey, basketball, wrestling, curling, skiing, snowboarding, and cheerleading.

The Clippers go for a rebound shot as the Warriors look to defend their net.

©Carole Morris-Underhill

Recent games

As for recent action by the West Hants Warriors, they played their opening two games in the Southern Division, defeating Bridgetown 5-1 before returning home Jan. 21 to lose to Yarmouth 5-2.  

The Warriors took on the Canning Clippers Jan. 28 and lost 3-2 in a fast-paced game.

They will host the Greenwich Bombers on Feb. 4 before travelling to Digby Feb. 5.  

West Hants Warriors goaltender Ryan Jillett kept his eyes on the Canning Clippers Jan. 28.

©Carole Morris-Underhill

Defenceman Ben Dixon tries to prevent a Clippers player from taking a shot on net.

©Carole Morris-Underhill

While referees doled out penalties, Canning’s goaltender Harrison Boutilier takes a moment to relax. He was in nets for the 3-2 win over the Warriors.

©Carole Morris-Underhill