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Avon View wins big over North Nova at Peter Connell girls’ hockey tournament in Berwick


‘Anything can happen in these tournaments’ says Central Kings coach Bill Walsh

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.

Shanli Berube-Sam gets low to dig the puck out of the corner.
Shanli Berube-Sam gets low to dig the puck out of the corner.

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.

Nicole Silver gets her hands on the puck.
Nicole Silver gets her hands on the puck.

“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.

“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.

Sophie Walsh, left, of Central Kings, meets Rayna Davidson, right, of Horton, for the ceremonial puck drop, which was dropped by Amanda Connell. The tournament is named for Connell’s father, Peter.
Sophie Walsh, left, of Central Kings, meets Rayna Davidson, right, of Horton, for the ceremonial puck drop, which was dropped by Amanda Connell. The tournament is named for Connell’s father, Peter.

“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.

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