BERWICK, NS – It was a fair fight Dec. 27 and 28 as high school hockey teams battled for the puck at the Peter Connell Memorial Girls Hockey Tournament in Berwick.
The event was held at the Kings Mutual Century Centre and featured eight teams – seven from the Valley High School Hockey League, and an eighth team, the North Nova Education Centre Gryphons, from Northumberland.
The Central Kings Lady Gators, who played three games at the event, hosted the tournament.
Gators coach Bill Walsh said nearly all teams were evenly matched, and that guessing who would be the tournament was hard because of it.
His girls played hard, losing a close 1-0 game against the Horton Lady Griffins, a 10-0 shutout to North Nova, and tying their last game 2-2 against the Middleton
Tournament guests North Nova nearly swept the event, serving up more than one shut out over the two days, before being defeated by the Avon View Avalanche 3-0 in the championship match.
“That was a good game, and that third goal was an empty-netter. It really was evenly matched, and both teams fought hard,” said Walsh, who watched with the other coaches.
Walsh is proud of his girls, whom he said fought hard throughout each of their games.
The semi final games were also hard fought matches that saw Avon View beat Horton 5-2, and North Nova win over Northeast Kings 6-2.
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“We had good control during our games, but missed our scoring opportunities. Who knows, it could have been too much Christmas turkey,” he said.
Northeast Kings Titans also had a successful tournament, celebrating their first win of the season, and a second victory that followed, at the event.
Coach Pete Lundeman said the girls really showed up for the games, proving determination is so key to the sport.
“The girls each played their part and worked hard, which showed itself in the wins they scored,” he said.
“They are understanding their hard work pays off now.”
Coaches and players agreed the tournament was a major win for all teams.
“It is a lot of hockey in two days, but the girls love it. It’s a great time of year to do that,” said Walsh.
The tournament is held each year in memory of Peter Connell, who was a beloved hockey coach, and his daughter Amanda performed the ceremonial puck drop.