Gryphons taking provincials seriously

Christopher Cameron
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North Nova boys hockey heading to second straight provincials

NEW GLASGOW – For only a few members of the North Nova Gryphons boys hockey team this will be their last shot at provincials, but for many it will be a chance to gain experience.

Goalie Joel MacLean, who was part of the Gryphons team that went to provincials last season, is in his senior year at North Nova. With this being his last shot at winning a provincial banner he wants to have a good weekend.

“We know the teams are going to be good, so hopefully we can win a few games to get to a crossover and then see what happens,” he said. “We’ve played well lately, so we hope that continues this weekend.”

Click here for story on NNEC girls team headed to provincials.

Last year the Gryphons lost in overtime to open the tournament before defeating Sir John A. MacDonald 4-2 in their second game. With a 3-2 loss in their final round-robin game they got some help to make a crossover against CP Allen. A 3-2 loss to CPA in the semifinal knocked them out of contention as the Cheetahs went on to win the 2013 NSSAF Division 1 boys hockey championship.

MacLean said the team learned a lot from that experience last season and are hoping to draw from those this year.

This morning North Nova opens the tournament against Halifax West at 9:30 a.m.

“They’re all good teams that we’re going to have to play and we’re going to have to play just like we have been in the playoffs with high intensity,” said MacLean. “They’re the best teams in the province, the best teams from each region, so if we want to play with them we need to play our best too, just like they’re going to.”

Gryphons captain Darryl Wheadon is only in his first year with the team after spending his past three seasons with the Weeks Major Midgets. Coming into a group that had made provincials a year ago, he knew the expectation to return was pretty high.

“The guys that were here last year told us how they did it and I just kind of tagged along because I wasn’t here last year and the other guys stepped up as leaders to do what they could and it turned out well,” he said.

Wheadon said they are likely an underdog to win the provincial title, but if they play like they did against CEC they should have some success.

“Going in we know we’re the lower-seeded team, but we’ve showed in the last few games that we can play against other teams that are ahead of us and beat teams that are ahead of us,” said Wheadon. “We just want to continue what we’ve been doing, since we won five of the last six games.”

With hope of playing a similar style does come some change, according to Wheadon. He said with a number of games needing to be won in a few days that they will try to spread out the ice time more evenly amongst the team.

“We know there’s a lot of games to be played and a lot of minutes to be logged, so I think we’re going to be calling on the guys that haven’t played that much so far this playoffs,” said Wheadon. “It’s going to be a different story that what it’s been the last few weeks.”

Schedule 

Today

9:30 a.m. North Nova vs. Halifax West

4:15 p.m. North Nova vs. Lockview

Tomorrow

10 a.m. North Nova vs. Riverview

6:30 p.m. 1st Pool A vs. 2nd Pool B

8:30 p.m. 1st Pool B vs. 2nd Pool A

Sunday

1 p.m. Championship game

 

 

christopher.cameron@ngnews.ca

On Twitter: @NGNewsChris

Geographic location: North Nova, Halifax West

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