A number of local hockey players heard their name called in the Maritime Junior Hockey League draft over the weekend.
Cape Breton West defenseman Jack Morris was selected second overall by the St. Stephen Aces while his teammate Sean Stewart went two rounds later to the Pictou County Weeks Crushers.
Pictou County Weeks Midget AAA forward Ben Fraser went to the Truro Bearcats in the first round of the territorial selections, while the Edmunston Blizzard picked up Islander netminder Ewan MacDonald in the third round. The Bearcats then selected Islander Del Welton in ther second round of the territorial selections.
The Valley Wildcats selected islander Darren Waterman in the fourth round and teammate Matthew Ellis went to the Amherst Ramblers in the fifth.
Four locals were picked in the sixth round, with Islanders Chase Ellis, Sam Grant, and Matthew Raike, and Pictou County Weeks’ Marc Aucoin getting the nod.
The Southshore Lumberjacks picked up Islander Ben MacLellan while in the seventh round, Weeks players Connor MacLeod and Colin MacGillvary went to the Yarmouth Mariners and the Bearcats respectively.
Athletes and officials with ties to Northeastern Nova Scotia are in the running for provincial sport awards. Sport Nova Scotia has announced its finalists for its Support-4-Sport Awards, recognizing the province’s greatest athletes, teams, coaches, officials and volunteers in amateur sport over the past year.
Among the local nominees are the Cape Breton West Islanders hockey team, the 2017 Major Midget Hockey National Champions for Team of the Year. Stellarton’s Blayre Turnbull, a member of the Canadian Women’s Olympic Hockey Team is a finalist for Female Team Athlete of the Year.
Drake Batherson, who grew up in the Antigonish Minor Hockey system and a member of the Team Canada at the World Junior Hockey Championship, is a finalist for Male Team Athlete of the Year.
Troy Ryan, an assistant coach of the Canadian Women’s Olympic Hockey Team and a former coach of the Antigonish Junior A Bulldogs and Pictou County Weeks Crushers is a finalist for Coach of the Year.
The award ceremony will be held on Saturday night at the Halifax Convention Centre.
The Cape Breton West Islanders Major Midget Hockey Team has announced revised dates for its 2018 Spring ID Camp. There’s on ice sessions on Monday, April 23rd from 6 to 8 p.m., Tuesday the 24th from 4:30 to 6 p.m. with a players meeting to follow, and Wednesday the 25th from 6 to 8 p.m at the Antigonish Arena
Some local players in the Nova Scotia Major Midget Hockey League picked up major awards and all-star honours over the weekend.
Stephen Fox of the Cape Breton West Islanders captured two honours; Most Valuable Player and Leading Scorer for the Regular Season. Cape Breton West’s Kyle MacDonald was named coach of the Year.
Four local players were honoured as league all-stars. Goalie Andrew MacLeod of the Pictou County Weeks Major Midgets, Defenceman Sean Stewart of Cape Breton West and Forward Calum MacPherson of Cape Breton West were named to the first all-star team.
Defenceman Jack Morris of Cape Breton West was picked for the second all-star team.
An Antigonish native is hoping to make his way onto Team Canada’s Under 17 roster. Telus Cup hero Logan Chisholm and 111 other players are at Canada’s under 17 development camp, looking for a chance to represent his country.
Canada’s national under-17 development camp is an intense seven days, with games, practices, educational seminars and team-building events. Chisholm had a stand-out 2016-17 season, culminating with his Cape Breton West Islanders bringing home the national title from the TELUS Cup. Chisholm scored both the game-tying and game-winning goals in the championship matchup.
Two Antigonish natives have been offered try-outs with the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s Halifax Mooseheads. Both players, Right Winger Calum MacPherson and Centre Fearghus MacDonald, were members of the Telus Cup Champion Cape Breton West Islanders last season. MacPherson had an assist on a key third period goal for the Islanders in their gold medal win. MacPherson was taken in the third round in the Maritime Junior Hockey League draft by Summerside.
MacDonald was a strong contributor for the Islanders in their championship run, with nine points in 11 post-season games. He was picked in the 10th round of the Maritime Junior Hockey League draft by the Woodstock Slamers.
In all, the Mooseheads invited eight free agent players to camp. They’ll report to week one of training camp beginning August 17th.
A number of local players were taken in the Maritime Junior Hockey League draft.
Six members of the Telus Cup Champion Cape Breton West Islanders were chosen including Stephen Fox, taken first overall by the South Shore Lumberjacks. Fox’s cousin, Malcolm MacEachern was selected by the Amherst Ramblers. The Summerside Western Capitals picked Callum MacPherson while the Woodstock Slammers selected Fearghus MacDonald. Goaltender Colton Ellis rights were picked up by the Marimichi Timberwolves.
Players with the Pictou County Weeks Major Midgets also garnered some interest. Hunter Martin was taken by the Amherst Ramblers, Andrew MacLeod , Jaden Mason and Mason Hawley were chosen by the hometown Pictou County Weeks Crushers, while Gavin Hart and Carson Lanceleve were picked by Truro. Rowan Sears was selected by the Yarmouth Mariners.
Several members of the Telus Cup Champion Cape Breton West Islanders will be attending training camps for Quebec Major Junior Hockey League teams this summer.
The QMJHL held its annual draft over the weekend in Saint John.
Forward Logan Chisholm was chosen in the second round, and 35th overall by the Acadie-Bathurst Titan. Another forward from the Islanders, Jacob Stewart was picked 43rd by the Moncton Wildcats. Stewart’s cousin, Sean Stewart, also a forward with the Islanders, was picked by Wildcats in the 11th round. Also in the 11th round, Islanders defencemen, Jack Morris was taken by Rimouski. Colton Ellis, who backstopped the Islanders to the Telus Cup title, had his QMJHL rights traded from the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles to Rimouski in exchange for Sherbrooke’s first round pick next year.
Members of the Pictou County Weeks Major Midgets taken the draft included forward Martin Hunter by Sherbrooke in the 7th round, forward Jaden Mason by Moncton in the 8th round and forward Gavin Hart by Halifax in the 12th round.
The Cape Breton West Islanders celebrated a banner year after winning the 2017 Telus Cup in Prince George B.C., resulting in congratulations for the town of Antigonish. At last evenings town council meeting, Mayor Laurie Boucher and council extended regards to the team, of which 9 players are from the Antigonish area.
Boucher says watching the team advance all the way to the finals resulted in a great deal of community pride across through the region, and across the province:
Boucher says that after the host team was eliminated from the tournament, many locals in the Prince George area latched onto the West Islanders during the final rounds because of the sportsmanship displayed by the team.
The Cape Breton West Islanders are the Canadian Midget AAA Hockey Champions. The Islanders rallied from a 4-2 first period deficit to down the Quebec Champion Saint Francois Blizzard 5-4 in overtime. Logan Chisholm tied the game with 5:51 in the third period and won it 5:39 into overtime. It is the first time an Atlantic team has won the Canadian Midget Hockey title. Stephen Fox of the Islanders also had two goals.
Islanders goaltender Colten Ellis stopped 43 shots for the win.