In a tightly contested provincial championship, the Westville Miners found a way to bounce back from a rough start on Friday to determine who made the finals and take home a medal themselves.
The Westville team suffered their worst defeat of the season in Game 1, 11-3 to the host team from Canso. In Game 2 facing the TASA Ducks, the eventual title winner of the tournament, Westville lost 7-1 after holding the score at 2-1 for most of the first two periods.
Saturday was a different story, fortunes changed the winners on Friday became the losers. In a must win game Westville faced the Halifax Hawks. Sam Hickey had scored the first two goals for Westville, down 3-2 late in the third period. He “gift wrapped” a pass to Nolan MacDonald who tied the game, scoring off the post. Still needing a win to not be eliminated from the tournament, Westville got the game to overtime and at the one-minute mark, defenceman Keegan Murray wired one from the blue line to win the game 4-3.
The arena erupted as this win by Westville kept the hometown Canso team in the hunt for a trip to the final. Hopes for a trip to the final for Westville now rested with Brookfield. A win or a tie over Canso would make the final round-robin game between Brookfield and Westville the deciding game on who would face TASA for the championship. Brookfield took a 4-0 lead only allow Canso five unanswered goals in the second period and eventually lose 5-4.
The final game of the day had the bronze medal on the line with Brookfield going up 2-0 on Westville early, but they let another lead slip away.
Matthew Carson set up Gavin Bourque for his first goal of the tournament and then Carson tied the game 2-2 with a goal of his own. Down 3-2 again with five minutes remaining, MacDonald tied the game and with less than two minutes on the clock, Hickey put the puck on MacDonald’s stick, netting the game winner and clinched the bronze medal for Westville.
Westville was also awarded the fair play banner during the closing ceremonies, an honor to receive considering the quality teams in the tournament who all showed great sportsmanship. First year atom player Dawson MacDonald was named to the all-star team in the defence position.