U16 and U18 Varsity Hockey Play in the 36th Prestigious Annual Monctonian
On November 19-21, both the U16 and U18 varsity teams participated in the 36th annual Monctonian tournament in Moncton, NB. This was a first for the program, and it was a very successful tournament for both teams.
The u16’s began their schedule vs the Miramachi Rivermen of the NBPEIMMHL, and the Atlantic Championship hosts, on Thursday afternoon. This was the first official competition for the u16’s against a major midget program, and the boys certainly proved to scouts and opponents that they belonged in the tournament. They played a sound defensive game, led by goaltender Alexandre Levesque, who was great in nets. It was a tight checking, hard fought game, that Miramachi came out on top of with a 3-1 victory. The lone goal scorer for Newbridge was David Hibbs.
Their second game was on Friday morning vs the Valley Wildcats of the NSMMHL. Again, the young Newbridge team battled hard against an experienced Wildcat squad. It was a much closer game than the 5-2 final score indicated as the boys battled hard throughout the contest. Oliver Troop played solid in nets, and the team was paced offensively by goal scorers David Hibbs and Logan Gillis.
The third and final game of the weekend saw the u16’s take on another prep school, from the other side of the country, the Notre Dame Argos. The team fell behind early with the Argos scoring two quick power play goals. However, the team battled back and played what was their best overall game of the tournament despite losing 4-1. Goaltender Alexandre Levesque was again rock solid, while David Gabriel-Cote was the goal scorer.
“This was a great weekend for our program. Coming back with a 0-3 record doesn’t really show what kind of hockey we played over the weekend. We also have to remember that we were the youngest team of the tournament and were able to play and compete with Major Midget caliber teams. I know that we opened a lot of eyes during the weekend. We will build on the great play we did this past weekend and keep improving as a team.” –Olivier Filion, Head Coach U16
On the u18 side, the team began their schedule late on Thursday night against the Western Kings of the NLMMHL. The boys came out flying and were up 2-0 after the first and 3-1 after the second. However, a breakdown in the third period led to a 6-5 loss. Goal scorers were Sean Tobin, Matt Duggan, Olivier Gauthier, and Alberto Pison (2).
The second game on the schedule saw the squad take on the Fredericton Caps of the NBPEIMMHL. After falling behind 2-0 early in the contest, the team roared back to score five unanswered goals for the 5-2 victory. Thomson Phinney was great between the pipes, and goal scorers were Cam Patton, Olivier Gauthier, Jacob Roberts, and Alberto Pison (2).
With their third game of the tournament, the u18’s had a chance at making a run at a playoff position in the prestigious tournament. They found themselves matched up against the Cape Breton Tradesmen of the NSMMHL. The boys brought their best effort of the weekend and controlled the play. However, some undisciplined penalties led to three power play goals for the Tradesmen. But, in the end, Newbridge would be rewarded for their play in a 4-3 victory. Goal scorers were Callum Bouma, Sean Tobin, Alexandre Provost-Ross, and Olivier Gauthier with the winner.
For the tournament, the u18’s finished with a 2-1-0 record and +3 in the plus/minus category. However, they came up a goal shy of advancing to the playoffs as a wildcard team. Although both teams were disappointed to not be playing on Sunday, they both left with their heads held high knowing that they made their debut in what promises to be a long standing relationship with the Monctonian.
As for individual accolades, u16 forward David Hibbs had a fantastic showing, and as a result earned the opportunity to play in the QMJHL prospects game on Friday night. On the u18 side, Alberto Pison finished the tournament with 4 goals and 3 assists, placing him tied for first atop the round robin scoring leaders. Congratulations to both players!
Both teams now have a week off from play before the “Top of the Hill” tournament at Rothesay-Netherwood School. The two teams also have one showcase left in both the ECEL and the PSHF before the Christmas break.
“Once again, the Monctonian was a first class event. It was a really great experience for our guys to have a chance to showcase themselves at the Monctonian in front of dozens of scouts. As for our team, we played pretty solid hockey for 8 of 9 periods; but that one period we took off came back to bite us in the end. However, we will learn and grow from this, and move forward as a better team because of the lessons learned. I am disappointed to not have earned a playoff spot, but extremely proud of all 21 players for the way they conducted themselves both on and off the ice”. -Matt Anthony, U18 Coach