The Wade’s Wire Traps Yarmouth Bantam AA Mariners team is looking forward to hosting six visiting teams at Hockey Nova Scotia bantam AA provincials this week.
But at the end of the tournament when the teams head home, the local team is hoping the provincial championship title will be staying here in Yarmouth.
“I’m super excited. As far as opportunities go, this is as good as it gets for these kids,” says head coach Nick Bourque about hosting the provincial championship.
“I think we have a very good opportunity at winning – a pretty good chance,” he says. “This is probably one of the most high-end skilled teams that I’ve coached. I think this is our year to bring a provincials championship back to Yarmouth.”
The team has good momentum heading into this week’s tournament, having just recently captured the Nova Scotia Mainland Hockey League’s bantam AA championship. The Yarmouth team also finished the regular season in second place with 49 points after a season record of 24 wins, three losses and one tie.
The Pictou County Crushers finished the regular season in first place with 52 points and a 25-1-2 record.
Pictou will also be competing for the provincials title this week. Aside from Yarmouth and Pictou, the other teams rounding out the week’s rosters are Acadia, Glace Bay, Halifax, Strait/Richmond and TASA.
The round robin competition will be spread over three days on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
Saturday afternoon also sees a skills competition in the afternoon.
The semi-final games take place Sunday morning at 8:30 and 10:30 a.m. with the championship game going at 2 p.m.
Yarmouth Bantam AA Mariners players Orren Hatfield and Spencer Surette say the team is really happy to be hosting provincials.
“I think we’re going to do pretty good. We’re pretty excited to host it,” Hatfield says, noting his favourite moment of the season was the team’s recent league championship win.
For Surette, this was his favourite moment of the season too, although both players say a provincial win would top that.
While the competition to win a provincial title is always stiff, Surette says the Yarmouth team has a good season to fall back on heading into the weekend, coupled with the league win which gives them that extra boost.
“Our season was good,” he says. “We had a lot of wins and never lost much, and we played really good.”
The team draws players on its roster from Yarmouth County, Shelburne County and the Clare region.
Parents of the team have been working tirelessly to prepare for this week’s event, which also brings added economic spinoff to the area.
Tournament chair Paul MacDonald – himself an event volunteer – says there is a great parent/team volunteer effort behind this provincial championship. The team has also benefited greatly from the generousity of community sponsors and supporters – both from businesses and individuals.
The Yarmouth County Minor Hockey Association is also pleased to see Yarmouth hosting this event, which is one of only three levels of minor hockey provincial tournaments in the province – Midget AA and Peewee AAA being the other two.
Thursday, April 11
12 pm - Pictou vs Acadia
2 pm - TASA vs Glace Bay
4 pm - Halifax vs Yarmouth
6 pm - Strait/Richmond vs Acadia
Friday April 12:
8 am - Glace Bay vs Halifax
10 am - Yarmouth vs Acadia
12 pm - TASA vs Strait/Richmond
2 pm - Pictou vs Halifax
4 pm - Acadia vs Glace Bay
6 pm - Yarmouth vs TASA
8 pm - Strait/Richmond vs Pictou
Saturday April 13:
10 am - Pictou vs TASA
12 pm - Glace Bay vs Yarmouth
2 pm - Skills Competition
4 pm - Halifax vs Strait/Richmond
Sunday April 14:
8:30 am - 4th vs 1st
10:30 am - 3rd vs 2nd
2pm Championship Game
• $20: Tournament pass
• $10: Day pass
• $5: Game pass
• 12 and under free
Wade’s Wire Traps Yarmouth Bantam AA Mariners Team roster
2 Owen Penney
3 Michel Comeau
4 Jory Stewart
5 Ben LeBlanc
6 Seamus d’Entremont
7 Owen Fitzgerald
8 Cameron Kerr
9 Spencer Surette
10 Krew Goodwin
11 Jaden Kerr
13 Alex Barr
14 Cameron Brown
16 Jacob Matthews
17 Travis Ryder
18 Orren Hatfield
19 Connor Prouty
29 Jacob Atwood
30 Izaac Deveau
• Nick Bourque: Coach
• Brandon Trask: Assist. coach
• Dylan Jeddrey: Assist. coach
• Mike Best: Assist. coach
• Michele LeBlanc: Manager