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Straits and St. Anthony take three titles

Northern Peninsula hockey teams skated away with three provincial titles from the Easter tournaments that took place right across the island last week - the Straits Rifters being the big winners.

St. Anthony Polars bantam winning provincial team.

Northern Peninsula hockey teams skated away with three provincial titles from the Easter tournaments that took place right across the island last week - the Straits Rifters being the big winners.

The Straits hit the road on Wednesday taking out the Midget F division title in Botwood while the club's Peewee E division squad won top honours at Bishop's Falls.

St. Anthony Polars also secured an All-Newfoundland and Labrador provincial title winning the Bantam D division at home at Olympia Stadium on the weekend.

To add even more interest for the Northern Peninsula clubs, the two traditional rivals squared up against each other when the Straits Midgets team battled St. Anthony in the first match of the championship race at Botwood. Honours were shared 3-3, the Straits then managed a 6-all tie with host Botwood before they scored their first victory, 5-2 against Beothic.

St. Anthony, having lost their clash with Beothic 3-1, needed victory on the Wednesday to challenge Straits but they dropped their first 7-5 to Beothic then 4-2 to Botwood leaving the Straits to fly the Northern Peninsula flag in the championship final.

They did just that winning 2-1.

Not to be outdone, the Peewee squad's tilt at championship glory went according to plan, they went the entire tournament without a loss. Their only glitch came in their second game of the event with a 4-all tie with Stephenville. They added a 3-1 victory against host Bishop Falls and an 11-2 victory against Corner Brook Regional to their opening game 3-1 victory against Southern Shore.

They won the championship game against Stephenville 2-1.

Back at home on the Northern Peninsula, the St. Anthony Polars Bantam team were prolific scorers at Olympia Stadium.

Home ice advantage combined with a blend of tough physical defense and lightning quick attack allowed them to progress through to the championship final against Lewisporte Seahawks with four victories and an opening game 5-all tie with Northeast Eagles.

Their victories against Gros Morne (6-2), Lewisporte (7-2) and Stephenville (9-0) gave a sense that the Polars would romp away with the final but it turned into one of the toughest games of the tournament.

The Seahawks put the Polars under immense pressure early scoring after just two-and-a-half minutes. The Polars squared the ledger in the 10th minute following a flurry of shots on goal. With 58 seconds remaining St. Anthony scored their second to establish a 2-1 lead, a score line which remained until the dying seconds of the final period when, in desperation, Lewisporte pulled their goalie.

For a full scoreboard check www.northernpen.ca

 

Organizations: Seahawks

Geographic location: St. Anthony, Northern Peninsula, Botwood Olympia Stadium Lewisporte Southern Shore Northeast Eagles

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