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Mariners win bronze at Regionals and a spot at Provincials


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By Grant Creighton

The Digby Regional Mariners Hockey team is headed to provincials for the second year in a row.

The Mariners stumbled through the first three days of the Division 3 Western Regional Hockey Championships, managing just one win in four games.

Still that was good enough to put them in the consolation game against Bridgetown Saturday, March 1. And Digby won that 2-0, to secure the third and final spot for the provincial tournament.

Before the playoffs, Digby had won all three matchups with Bridgetown this year, but then learned in the first game of the Regional tournament not to take the Trojans lightly.

Bridgetown surprised the Mariners Thursday, Feb. 27, shutting them out 3-0.

Bridgetown scorers were Kellen Saunders, Cole O’Neil, and Brent Saunders. Garrett Gillis earned the shutout.

Digby’s second game of the tournament was against the Par-en-Bas Sharks, who won Regionals last year and were runners up at provincials.

The Mariners were down 3-0 to the Sharks just six minutes into the game.

Newcomer Thian Carman put Digby on the board with a point shot on the power play. The marker was Carman’s first goal of the season and he was assisted by Bradley O’Neil.

The Mariners were trailing 7-1 in the third period before they were able to cut the deficit on goals by Ryan Connell and Logan Carman.

The Carman brothers may very well be the first brothers playing defence to both score for DRHS in the same game.

Par-En-Bas won 8-3 but it might have been worse if not for Ryan Robicheau’s work between the pipes to lessen the damage.

The Mariners played an elimination game on Friday, Feb. 28 against archrival Middleton.

Digby’s record in previous match ups against the Monarchs this year was one win, one loss.

The Mariners came out flying and had numerous scoring chances prior to captain Myles Creighton popping the first one in assisted by the Carman brothers.

Noah Thomas increased the Digby lead minutes later with a goal assisted by O’Neil and Logan Carman.

In the second period Creighton beat Monarch netminder Jared McGuirk for the second time on a goal set up by Nathan Janson and Dawson Acker.

Chris Demaine found the back of the net less than a minute later assisted by Connell and O’Neil to extend the Mariner lead to 4-0.

Middleton got on the scoreboard with a power play marker by Gabe Bower from Emerson Coulter.

Digby restored the four-goal margin courtesy of Ryan ‘Deuce’ Doucette assisted by O’Neil and Thomas.

The Mariners limited Middleton to just seven shots in two periods and built a 5-1 lead.

However, in the final minute of the second,

Creighton took a slash to his hands and appealed to the referee for a penalty call.

The ref gave him one – a minor penalty for the Digby captain.

Creighton didn’t like that and threw his stick in the penalty box, earning an additional 10-minute misconduct.

Middleton stormed back in the third period, scoring early on a second power play goal by Bower and then two additional unanswered goals by Middleton captain, Emerson Coulter.

The game was 5-4 with 10 minutes remaining when Coulter was sprung on a breakaway looking to complete his hat trick and tie the game. However, Digby goalie, Bryceon Wade stood tall and turned him away.

The hero of the day for Digby was Riley Leblanc. He bailed out Creighton by scoring two goals less than a minute apart to secure the Mariner victory and end the Monarchs season.

LeBlanc was assisted by Dawson Acker and Peter Janson on the first and Acker and Logan Carman on the second. Final score 7-4 Mariners.

In the semi-finals, Digby met Par-en-Bas again and the Mariners had no more success fending off the relentless Shark attack.

Digby’s offence was highlighted by a hat trick from assistant captain Noah Thomas. Nathan Janson added a single marker for an 8-4 loss.

Par-en-Bas went on to meet Forest Heights in the Regional final. The Falcons won that 3-1.

The Mariners meanwhile met Bridgetown in the consolation game with the winner packing for Port Hawkesbury and the loser packing it in for the season.

Digby had had little trouble scoring against the Trojans in the regular season – they beat them three times and twice they had scored eight goals against them.

Yet at Regionals the Trojans stifled the Digby offence.

The consolation game remained scoreless going into the third period—counting Thursday, Bridgetown had managed to keep the Mariners off the scoreboard for five consecutive periods.

Finally Creighton broke the stalemate three minutes into the third.

He beat the stingy Trojan netminder Garrett Gillis on a feed from Dylan Melanson.

Bradley ‘Kipper’ O’Neil netted an insurance goal six minutes later, set up by Thomas and Chris Demaine.

Wade had an excellent game between the pipes to earn his first shutout of the season.

 The Mariners manager Grant Creighton said it has been a great year.

“From a personal perspective, this has been nothing short of a dream season for the Mariners,” he said. “It has been a pleasure to work with them. There were many sceptics as to whether we could ice a team at all this year with the large player turnover after last season. To qualify for provincials is just icing on the cake.”

He said the team, the coaching staff and the fans have all been great.

“The level of commitment and work ethic of these boys has been outstanding,” he said. “I am proud of all of them. We have also had exceptional coaching and tremendous fan support throughout the season.”

ONE MORE HOME APPEARANCE

The DRHS Mariners will take to the home ice one final time this season in a charity game on Thursday, March 6 at 8 p.m.

The game will feature the DRHS Mariners against DRHS Staff. All proceeds will be donated to the Digby Food Bank. Admission is either $5 or a non-perishable food item. The game is co-sponsored by DARC and WalMart.

jriley@digbycourier.ca

By Grant Creighton

The Digby Regional Mariners Hockey team is headed to provincials for the second year in a row.

The Mariners stumbled through the first three days of the Division 3 Western Regional Hockey Championships, managing just one win in four games.

Still that was good enough to put them in the consolation game against Bridgetown Saturday, March 1. And Digby won that 2-0, to secure the third and final spot for the provincial tournament.

Before the playoffs, Digby had won all three matchups with Bridgetown this year, but then learned in the first game of the Regional tournament not to take the Trojans lightly.

Bridgetown surprised the Mariners Thursday, Feb. 27, shutting them out 3-0.

Bridgetown scorers were Kellen Saunders, Cole O’Neil, and Brent Saunders. Garrett Gillis earned the shutout.

Digby’s second game of the tournament was against the Par-en-Bas Sharks, who won Regionals last year and were runners up at provincials.

The Mariners were down 3-0 to the Sharks just six minutes into the game.

Newcomer Thian Carman put Digby on the board with a point shot on the power play. The marker was Carman’s first goal of the season and he was assisted by Bradley O’Neil.

The Mariners were trailing 7-1 in the third period before they were able to cut the deficit on goals by Ryan Connell and Logan Carman.

The Carman brothers may very well be the first brothers playing defence to both score for DRHS in the same game.

Par-En-Bas won 8-3 but it might have been worse if not for Ryan Robicheau’s work between the pipes to lessen the damage.

The Mariners played an elimination game on Friday, Feb. 28 against archrival Middleton.

Digby’s record in previous match ups against the Monarchs this year was one win, one loss.

The Mariners came out flying and had numerous scoring chances prior to captain Myles Creighton popping the first one in assisted by the Carman brothers.

Noah Thomas increased the Digby lead minutes later with a goal assisted by O’Neil and Logan Carman.

In the second period Creighton beat Monarch netminder Jared McGuirk for the second time on a goal set up by Nathan Janson and Dawson Acker.

Chris Demaine found the back of the net less than a minute later assisted by Connell and O’Neil to extend the Mariner lead to 4-0.

Middleton got on the scoreboard with a power play marker by Gabe Bower from Emerson Coulter.

Digby restored the four-goal margin courtesy of Ryan ‘Deuce’ Doucette assisted by O’Neil and Thomas.

The Mariners limited Middleton to just seven shots in two periods and built a 5-1 lead.

However, in the final minute of the second,

Creighton took a slash to his hands and appealed to the referee for a penalty call.

The ref gave him one – a minor penalty for the Digby captain.

Creighton didn’t like that and threw his stick in the penalty box, earning an additional 10-minute misconduct.

Middleton stormed back in the third period, scoring early on a second power play goal by Bower and then two additional unanswered goals by Middleton captain, Emerson Coulter.

The game was 5-4 with 10 minutes remaining when Coulter was sprung on a breakaway looking to complete his hat trick and tie the game. However, Digby goalie, Bryceon Wade stood tall and turned him away.

The hero of the day for Digby was Riley Leblanc. He bailed out Creighton by scoring two goals less than a minute apart to secure the Mariner victory and end the Monarchs season.

LeBlanc was assisted by Dawson Acker and Peter Janson on the first and Acker and Logan Carman on the second. Final score 7-4 Mariners.

In the semi-finals, Digby met Par-en-Bas again and the Mariners had no more success fending off the relentless Shark attack.

Digby’s offence was highlighted by a hat trick from assistant captain Noah Thomas. Nathan Janson added a single marker for an 8-4 loss.

Par-en-Bas went on to meet Forest Heights in the Regional final. The Falcons won that 3-1.

The Mariners meanwhile met Bridgetown in the consolation game with the winner packing for Port Hawkesbury and the loser packing it in for the season.

Digby had had little trouble scoring against the Trojans in the regular season – they beat them three times and twice they had scored eight goals against them.

Yet at Regionals the Trojans stifled the Digby offence.

The consolation game remained scoreless going into the third period—counting Thursday, Bridgetown had managed to keep the Mariners off the scoreboard for five consecutive periods.

Finally Creighton broke the stalemate three minutes into the third.

He beat the stingy Trojan netminder Garrett Gillis on a feed from Dylan Melanson.

Bradley ‘Kipper’ O’Neil netted an insurance goal six minutes later, set up by Thomas and Chris Demaine.

Wade had an excellent game between the pipes to earn his first shutout of the season.

 The Mariners manager Grant Creighton said it has been a great year.

“From a personal perspective, this has been nothing short of a dream season for the Mariners,” he said. “It has been a pleasure to work with them. There were many sceptics as to whether we could ice a team at all this year with the large player turnover after last season. To qualify for provincials is just icing on the cake.”

He said the team, the coaching staff and the fans have all been great.

“The level of commitment and work ethic of these boys has been outstanding,” he said. “I am proud of all of them. We have also had exceptional coaching and tremendous fan support throughout the season.”

ONE MORE HOME APPEARANCE

The DRHS Mariners will take to the home ice one final time this season in a charity game on Thursday, March 6 at 8 p.m.

The game will feature the DRHS Mariners against DRHS Staff. All proceeds will be donated to the Digby Food Bank. Admission is either $5 or a non-perishable food item. The game is co-sponsored by DARC and WalMart.

jriley@digbycourier.ca

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