Wins were scarce for Newfoundland and Labrador under-18 teams at 2023 Monctonian challenge
NICHOLAS MERCER THE TELEGRAM firstname.lastname@example.org
Wins were hard to come by for Newfoundland and Labrador teams at the 2023 Monctonian AAA Challenge tournament held over the weekend in New Brunswick. Of the four teams that travelled to the annual tournament from the province’s under-18 major hockey league, only two of them — the Pinnacle Growlers and the East Coast Blizzard — managed to secure victories in three games played. The Growlers finished with three points and in second in their division with a 1-1-1 record, but it wasn’t enough to get them into the playoffs. Their win came in a 3-1 victory over the Weeks Under18 Majors, while they tied eventual tournament champion Fredericton Caps 1-1. In their tournament opener, the Growlers lost to the South Shore Mustangs 3-2 in a tight contest. The Blizzard finished 1-2 in their division. They started the tournament with a 2-0 win over the Canadian International Hockey Academy (CIHA) U18 Voyageurs. However, they dropped their next two to the Halifax Macs (5-0) and the Saint John Vitos (5-3). Meanwhile, both the Central Impact and the Western Kings went winless in their three tournament contests. The Impact fell to the Charlottetown Knights (6-1), the Cape Breton Islanders (4-2) and the Rothesay Netherwood School (RNS) Riverhawks (51). The Kings lost to the Cole Harbour Wolfpack (5-0), the Kensington Wild (8-1) and the Ontario Hockey Academy (OHA) Maroon (7-3). Five players from the province — three from the Blizzard and two from the Growlers — played in the annual Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) prospects game. For Team Blue, Ethan Percy (Blizzard) participated alongside Impact coaches Brian Casey, Brian Tremblett, trainer Scott Klein and therapist James Grant. On Team White were William Morgan (Blizzard), Nathan Pilgrim (Growlers), Reed Chafe (Growlers) and Gavin Connors (Blizzard). On their bench was Growlers coach Trevor Budgell. There was also a local team competing in the under-15 portion of the Monctonian. The Eastern Hitman went 1-1-1 in their three games of the tournament, picking a win over the Dartmouth Whalers (5-1) and tying the Moncton Hawks (3-3). Their loss came to The Gulls (4-2).