Although the Weeks Major Midgets wrapped up their time at the Chronicle Herald East Coast Ice Jam with a 4-0 loss to the Saint John Vitos in a wildcard game, the coaching staff were extremely happy about their play throughout the weekend.
The team was ranked eighth out of 16 teams through the round-robin play and head coach Dave MacIntyre said that was a “feather in the boy’s cap” for finishing where they did. He said he believes going into the tournament that nobody believed they would finish that high.
He said even with their shutout exit from the tournament that it was “more of a 2-0 than a 4-0 game.”
“After the first goal the boys didn’t let up and they played a really great game for 60 minutes,” said MacIntyre. “The referee even said to me ‘that wasn’t a 4-0 game’. It was back-and-forth and we had all kinds of chances. We hit crossbars, had breakaways, but their goalie played very well. Ours played well too, but I’m sure there’s a goal or two he’d like to have back. Realistically we were right there through the whole game and we’re definitely very proud of the boys, their work ethic and how they came together.”
MacIntyre said right after their 4-0 loss that the atmosphere in the room was somber, but he said that was a good thing for his team.
“That said to us that they felt they could’ve won the game and they were upset,” he said. “It wasn’t ‘ok we lost, but we tried hard’. It was a different atmosphere. They wanted to play the next game, which was against Halifax. Halifax ended up beating Saint John 2-0, but our guys knew we would’ve given Halifax a good run because we knew we had in the past.
“They were a little somber and a little upset, but we went in and said ‘hey boys, we’re proud of you, you did really good, you worked hard and never gave up’.”
Opening the tournament the Weeks Majors Midgets lost 4-1 to the Cornwall Superior Thunder. Cody Johnston scored the lone goal for the Major Midgets.
“I thought we definitely could have won that game,” said MacIntyre. “We had a bunch of good chances. We came out a little flat, but having said that we were in the game, it was a good game and we were right in it and all over them at the end. I felt we out-played them the majority of the game, but it came down to scoring.”
Heading into Friday, MacIntyre said the team shuffled their lines in preparation for their two games. He said things turned around for the team, winning both games; 3-2 over the St. John’s Maple Leafs and 3-2 over the Saint John Vitos.
“It was a whole team effort, everyone got to play and we rolled the lines for the most part,” he said. “The boys really worked hard, the goaltending played well with both guys playing well. It was just a whole team effort. It was very positive. The boys were all on board, positive on the bench, on the ice and it was fun during those two games because you could feel the atmosphere of the boys wanting to give their best effort and they did.”
Mark Vokey led the team in scoring against St. John’s, with two goals and an assist. Cole Livingstone scored the third Weeks’ goal.
Against Saint John, Lane Cormier scored a natural hat trick in just over an eight-minute span in the second period, to take credit for all Weeks Major Midget goals.
Next weekend the Weeks’ squad gets back to NSMMHL regular season action on the road with games against Cole Harbour and Halifax. The team hopes to carry their successful weekend forward.
“I think we just keep building on that,” said MacIntyre. “As a coaching staff we’ve been trying to be more positive saying we’re going to keep pushing you because we know there’s more. This isn’t the rookie team anymore. We know that it’s there, they’re proven that it’s there and we’re going to keep pushing them because we know we can do it.
“They’ve bought in now because they know they can too.”