TRENTON – Whether it was revenge for Friday’s 3-2 loss or last season’s 4-1 Allan Cameron championship victory, the J.H. Gillis Royals got it as they topped the hometown North Nova Gryphons 3-2 on Sunday.
© CHRISTOPHER CAMERON - THE NEWS
North Nova Gryphons forward Jacob Pentz handles the puck behind the J.H. Gillis net as an official makes it clear the puck didn’t go in the net on the Gryphons second period opportunity during the final of the 14th Annual Allan Cameron Memorial Hockey Tournament. J.H. Gillis won the game 3-2 over North Nova.
“We knew we had to crash and bang and really grind out to win the tournament and I feel like we did that, but we just couldn’t pull out the ‘W’,” said Gryphons’ defenceman Craig Murray. “I think we had a full team buy-in today and thought we did a great job, but a couple bounces here and there and we could’ve had the banner out on the ice at the end. It hurts a lot right now.”
Kirklin Murray and Ethan Snell scored for the Gryphons in the championship game. Connor Fraser had a hat trick for the Royals. Joel MacLean took the loss for North Nova, while Craig Rogers picked up the win for J.H. Gillis.
Murray, a Grade 11 student, is in his first year with the Gryphons boy’s hockey team after playing last season with the Weeks Major Midgets. He said Sunday’s final was one of the most intense games he’s played in.
“I’ve played major midget and AAA the whole way up (through hockey), but that was one of the most intense games with a full rink and everyone into it,” he said. “It was a very special moment out there. I haven’t witnessed too many situations like that in my life.”
Friday they opened the tournament with a 3-2 victory over the same Royals squad. Darryl Wheadon had two goals, including the winner, while Jacob Pentz scored their third goal.
That night they defeated the Hants East Tigers 3-0. Tyler Baird, Cody Haas and Murray led North Nova to victory and a guaranteed spot in a crossover semifinal.
Saturday morning they faced the NRHS Nighthawks in the final round-robin game, losing 2-1. Wheadon scored for the Gryphons, while Noah Chisholm netted a pair, one on a penalty shot, to set up the crossover semifinals.
North Nova defeated Dalbrae 4-1 with Craig Murry, Pentz, Kirklin Murray and Wheadon leading the way offensively. Northumberland fell to the eventual tournament champions 3-1 in their semifinal.
The Gryphons will host the Amherst Vikings on Friday, Dec. 6 at the Trenton Arena before travelling to Cape Breton on Sunday afternoon to face off against the Dalbrae Dragons. Friday night's game in Trenton is at 8:30 p.m. Admission is $4 and $2 for students and seniors.
Dalbrae 3 vs. NRHS 0
NNEC 3 vs. J.H. Gillis 2
Hants East 5 vs. Amherst 1
J.H. Gillis 6 vs. Dalbrae 2
NNEC 3 vs. Hants East 0
NRHS 5 vs. Amherst 2
Dalbrae 3 vs. Hants East 3
J.H. Hills 6 vs. Amherst 2
NRHS 2 vs. NNEC 1
Semifinal 1: J.H. Gillis 3 vs. NRHS 1
Semifinal 2: NNEC 4 vs. Dalbrae 1
Championship: J.H. Gillis 3 vs. NNEC 2