CBWHSHL playoffs to start and end this week
Underneath the pile is Eskasoni goaltender Emmerson Marshall, a puck, and a hand that isn’t the goalie’s on the puck, resulting in a penalty shot for Dalbrae’s Griffin Spears during Friday’s final game of the CBWHSHL’s regular season.
-by Bill Dunphy
So much hockey and so little time.
The Cape Breton West High School Hockey League wrapped up its regular season on Friday without completing all its games and the top four teams dove right into league playoffs this week and which must be completed by Feb. 26 – a day before the start of the Highland Region playdowns.
Five games were played last week as the league did its best to finish the schedule. Only three games ended up not getting played and all involved Eskasoni, with Richmond, SAERC, and Dalbrae coming up a game short in the final standings.
The Richmond Hurricane locked up first-place overall last week by beating the second-place Inverness/Baddeck Rebels in back-to-back games.
On Thursday of last week in Louisdale, the Canes opened up 3-1 and 5-2 period leads on the Rebels and held on for a 5-3 win.
Colin Sampson, Cameron Britten, Xavier Sampson, Trent Diggdon, and Adam Sampson scored for Richmond, with Luke Sampson getting the win in goal.
Michael Cameron scored twice for Inverness and Frankie MacNeil added the single marker. Hunter Forance was tagged with the loss in goal.
The Rebels returned to Louisdale last Tuesday but got more of the same from the Hurricane who skated to a 6-1 win.
Britten led Richmond with two goals and two assists. Adding singles were Adam Sampson, Duncan White, Thomas MacNeil, and Xavier Sampson.
Cameron had the lone Rebels’ goal.
The lopsided win also propelled Canes netminder Luke Sampson past Forance for the league’s top goaltender award. Sampson ended up with a 2.05 goals-against average over 417 minutes played. Forance, who led the league all season, ended up a 2.18 GAA over 640 minutes.
The Rebels, who were the only team to play all 16 games, closed out the season on Thursday with a 6-3 win over the Eskasoni Eagles.
Frankie MacNeil had two goals and two assists to pace the Rebels. Trent MacNeil, Holden Hartford, Ross Mullins, and Dusty Bernard scored singles. Hartford’s goal was his first of the year and proved to be the game-winner.
Stanley Paul scored twice for the Eagles with Darrell Paul getting the single.
Caden MacLellan was the winner in the Inverness/Baddeck goal. Clifford Cremo recorded the loss.
Also on Thursday, Jake MacDonald scored at 3:09 of overtime to lift the SAERC Saints to a 2-1 win over the Dalbrae Dragons at the Port Hawkesbury Civic Centre.
Brady White had the single and Chase MacPherson notched the win in goal.
Griffin Spears replied for the Dragons, with Boyd MacIntyre taking the loss.
And in the final game of the regular season, Dalbrae put a halt to an eight-game losing streak by beating Eskasoni 8-1 in Port Hood.
Spears and Nolan Beaton each scored twice to lead the Dragons. Also scoring were Connor MacLean, with the winner; Ben Van Zutphen, Keith MacDonell, and Colby MacLean. MacIntyre was the winner in goal.
Stanley Paul had the shutout spoiling goal for the Eagles, who landed with just nine skaters.
“We needed that win going into the playoffs,” said Dalbrae coach Brett MacEachern. “It’s not like we’ve been getting bombed. All of our losses have been by a goal or two and we’ve stayed close to the end of the game.”
MacEachern said the team, which has endured injuries and some players splitting their time playing basketball, is ready for the ‘new’ season.
“I think we’re about to play the best hockey of the year, and teams will be sorry if they take us for granted. We’ve been rolling our lines all year, not because of fair play, but because I wanted everyone to get enough playing time so that they can feel comfortable in the playoffs.”
League playoffs were scheduled to begin this past Monday with Richmond at Dalbrae in the first of a two-game series. Game two is scheduled for Richmond tomorrow (Thursday) at 7:30 p.m.
The Inverness/Baddeck Rebels are in Port Hawkesbury tonight (Wednesday) at 7 p.m. to play game one against the SAERC Saints. Game two is scheduled for Friday at 7:30 p.m. at the Dr. Bernie MacLean Cultural and Recreation Centre in Inverness.
A one-game championship will be played at the home of the highest surviving seed by Tuesday.
The Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation Highland Region Division 3 tournament begins Wednesday, Feb. 27. All games are played at the Al MacInnis Sports Centre in Port Hood.
Wed., Feb. 27:
4:30 p.m., Eskasoni vs. Richmond; 6 p.m., SAERC vs. Inverness/Baddeck; 7:30 p.m., Dalbrae vs. Eskasoni.
Fri., Mar. 1:
1p.m., Inverness/ Baddeck vs. Eskasoni; 2:30 p.m., Dalbrae vs. Richmond; 4 p.m., Eskasoni vs. SAERC; 5:30 p.m., opening ceremonies and CBWHSHL awards; 6:30 p.m., Richmond vs. Inverness/Baddeck; 8 p.m., Dalbrae vs. SAERC.
Sat., Mar. 2:
12:30 p.m., SAERC vs. Richmond; 3:30 p.m., Inverness/Baddeck vs. Dalbrae.
Sun., Mar. 3:
2:30 p.m., semifinal 1st vs. 4th; 4 p.m., semifinal 2nd vs. 3rd; 7 p.m., championship.
Eskasoni is meeting with its players on Tuesday to discuss whether they would play in the regional tournament. If they decide to pull out, then the following is an alternative Highland Region schedule that excludes the Eagles:
Wed., Feb. 27:
6 p.m., SAERC vs. Richmond; 7:30 p.m., Inverness/Baddeck vs. Dalbrae.
Fri., Mar. 1:
1 p.m., Dalbrae vs. Richmond; 2:30 p.m., Inverness/Baddeck vs. SAERC; 6 p.m., opening ceremonies and CBWHSHL awards; 6:30 p.m., Dalbrae vs. SAERC; 8 p.m., Richmond vs. Inverness/Baddeck.
Sat., Mar. 2:
2 p.m., semifinal, 3rd vs 2nd;
3:30 p.m., semifinal, 1st vs. 4th.
Sun., Mar. 3:
6 p.m., consolation game (winner goes to qualifier); 7:30 p.m., championship game (both teams advance to provincials, the winner getting the Highland Region banner and a higher seeding at provincials).
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