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Digby Mariners sail to top four finish at Div 3 hockey provincials


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By Grant Creighton

The DRHS Mariners made it as far as the semi-finals at the high school hockey provincials.

The Digby team spent the weekend of  March 21-23 at Port Hawkesbury Civic Centre competing in the NSSAF Division 3 Hockey Provincials.

The Mariners won their first game, lost their second to the eventual champions and then lost to the host team in the semis.

Their first contest had them pitted against the Richmond Academy Hurricanes who were the second seed in the Cape Breton Region.

The Mariners had played the Hurricanes several times over the last two seasons and in fact suffered a 5-2 loss to them in the opening game of the 2013 Provincials.

Digby held a 1-2 record against Richmond this season heading into the Provincial opener in what was a critical game given their seeding.

The Mariners were able to draw first blood with yet another big goal from Riley LeBlanc who was been making a habit of scoring timely goals lately.

LeBlanc was helped by a perfect cross-crease pass from Ryan Doucette just over two minutes into the first period.

Later in the frame, Mariner’s captain Myles Creighton would win a puck battle behind the Richmond net and pass it off to Nathan Janson who walked out and promptly slid the puck by the Hurricanes netminder for a 2-0 Digby lead.

The play was back and forth through the second period.

After several big saves by Digby goaltender Bryceon Wade, Richmond was able to tuck one in between his out stretched skate and the post to cut the deficit in half. Score was 2-1 for Digby after two periods.

With the game hanging in the balance, Bradley “Kipper” O’Neil was able to solidify the win with a third period insurance marker. Final score 3-1 Mariners.

Due to a scheduling conflict with a Junior B Playoff game, the Mariners were forced to take on the number one seed with just two hours rest.

It would be the powerhouse Forest Heights Falcons first game of the day and they made short work of the tired Digby squad with an 11-1 victory.

Mariners goalie Ryan Robicheau worked hard between the pipes to limit the damage of the potent Falcon attack. Dawson Acker scored the lone Digby goal, assisted by Myles Creighton.

The Mariners’ 1-1 record was good enough for second place in Pool B and earned them a spot in the semi-finals on Saturday night against the host SAERC Saints.

The Mariners found themselves in a 3-0 hole by the end of the first, but kept battling and picked up the pace in the second.

The teams traded goals in the period. Digby got on the board midway through the second on a goal by Dawson Acker and the score remained 4-1 after 2 periods. The Saints would go up 5-1 in the third before Chris Demaine would answer and cut the deficit to 5-2. Unfortunately, that would be the final goal; SAERC went on to the Championship game and the Mariners’ season was over.

Forest Heights would go on to defeat SAERC by a score of 6-2 in the final and claim the Division 3 Hockey Provincial title. Forest Heights was a perfect 4-0 and scored an impressive 31 goals, while only allowing three goals against in their march to provincial glory.

The Mariners coaching staff was very pleased with the team’s performance and the season overall. The team was able to come through in some key games throughout the season in their road to top four in the province.

It was a significant accomplishment for a team that was left depleted with many players graduating last season. The Mariners will only lose two players this season and look forward to more strong seasons to come.

By Grant Creighton

The DRHS Mariners made it as far as the semi-finals at the high school hockey provincials.

The Digby team spent the weekend of  March 21-23 at Port Hawkesbury Civic Centre competing in the NSSAF Division 3 Hockey Provincials.

The Mariners won their first game, lost their second to the eventual champions and then lost to the host team in the semis.

Their first contest had them pitted against the Richmond Academy Hurricanes who were the second seed in the Cape Breton Region.

The Mariners had played the Hurricanes several times over the last two seasons and in fact suffered a 5-2 loss to them in the opening game of the 2013 Provincials.

Digby held a 1-2 record against Richmond this season heading into the Provincial opener in what was a critical game given their seeding.

The Mariners were able to draw first blood with yet another big goal from Riley LeBlanc who was been making a habit of scoring timely goals lately.

LeBlanc was helped by a perfect cross-crease pass from Ryan Doucette just over two minutes into the first period.

Later in the frame, Mariner’s captain Myles Creighton would win a puck battle behind the Richmond net and pass it off to Nathan Janson who walked out and promptly slid the puck by the Hurricanes netminder for a 2-0 Digby lead.

The play was back and forth through the second period.

After several big saves by Digby goaltender Bryceon Wade, Richmond was able to tuck one in between his out stretched skate and the post to cut the deficit in half. Score was 2-1 for Digby after two periods.

With the game hanging in the balance, Bradley “Kipper” O’Neil was able to solidify the win with a third period insurance marker. Final score 3-1 Mariners.

Due to a scheduling conflict with a Junior B Playoff game, the Mariners were forced to take on the number one seed with just two hours rest.

It would be the powerhouse Forest Heights Falcons first game of the day and they made short work of the tired Digby squad with an 11-1 victory.

Mariners goalie Ryan Robicheau worked hard between the pipes to limit the damage of the potent Falcon attack. Dawson Acker scored the lone Digby goal, assisted by Myles Creighton.

The Mariners’ 1-1 record was good enough for second place in Pool B and earned them a spot in the semi-finals on Saturday night against the host SAERC Saints.

The Mariners found themselves in a 3-0 hole by the end of the first, but kept battling and picked up the pace in the second.

The teams traded goals in the period. Digby got on the board midway through the second on a goal by Dawson Acker and the score remained 4-1 after 2 periods. The Saints would go up 5-1 in the third before Chris Demaine would answer and cut the deficit to 5-2. Unfortunately, that would be the final goal; SAERC went on to the Championship game and the Mariners’ season was over.

Forest Heights would go on to defeat SAERC by a score of 6-2 in the final and claim the Division 3 Hockey Provincial title. Forest Heights was a perfect 4-0 and scored an impressive 31 goals, while only allowing three goals against in their march to provincial glory.

The Mariners coaching staff was very pleased with the team’s performance and the season overall. The team was able to come through in some key games throughout the season in their road to top four in the province.

It was a significant accomplishment for a team that was left depleted with many players graduating last season. The Mariners will only lose two players this season and look forward to more strong seasons to come.

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