By Kathy Johnson
THE COAST GUARD
The Barrington Sea Star Ice Dogs skated to a 4-1 win over the Clare Lions to capture the Maritime Hockey North Junior C championship before a capacity crowd at the Barrington Arena on Sunday (April 5).
An estimated 1,500 hockey fans were on hand to cheer the Barrington squad to victory and the Dogs didn’t disappoint.
Ice Dogs goalie Josh Merrick who made 29 saves and had a shutout going until the dying minutes of the game, and Clare goalie Colin LeBlanc, who stopped 39 shots, were named MVPs of the championship contest. Shayne Devine, James Swaine, Andy Swim, and Scott Symonds were the Barrington marksmen, Jacques Lombard scored the lone goal for Clare.
Five teams competed in the four-day tournament. In round robin action the Barrington finished first at 3-1, with Clare in second at 2-1-1. In third were the Avon River Rats with a 1-1-2 record were third, while the Qikiqtani Elks went 1-2-1 for fourth spot. The Hampton Hurricanes finished out of playoff contention with a 1-3 record.
The tourney opened with Clare taking out Hampton 5-4 and the Ice Dogs posting a 5-3 win over the Elks. James Swaine, Josh Aylward, Jeff Goulden, Dwight Crowell and Dustin Goreham were the Barrington marksmen.
On day two, Hampton doubled the River Rats 4-2; Clare routed Qikiqtani 8-2; Barrington shutout Hampton 3-0; the Elks and the River Rats skated to a 4-4 draw; and the Ice Dogs downed the Lions 7-5.
Josh Merrick stopped all 29 shots he faced for the shutout victory, with goals from Dustin Goreham, Jeff Goulden, and Kyle Dillman.
In the Barrington/Clare contest, the Ice Dogs came back from a deficit, scoring five in the third for the win. Shayne Devine and James Swaine each had two goals for the Dogs, with singles from Kyle Dillman, Brandon Nickerson, and Jeff Goulden.
On day three, the River Rats and Clare skated to a 5-5 draw, the Elks dumped the Hurricanes 5-3, and Avon defeated Barrington 4-1. Shayne Devine scored the lone goal for the Ice Dogs.
In semi-final play Clare defeated the Avon River 5-3, while Barrington eliminated the Elks 5-2. Shannon Smith led the Ice Dogs with two goals with one each from Josh Aylward, Dwight Crowell and Jesse Hopkins.
The Ice Dogs’ Dustin Crowell was named tournament MVP, while Clare’s Alexandre Poirer racked up 12 points to earn leading scorer for the tournament. Top goalie went to Barrington’s Josh Merrick who had a 2.66 GAA.
Clare’s Ryan Gallant was named top forward for the tourney, with the top defenseman award went to Nunavut’s’ Nunavut Tyler Karst. Marc MacIntosh of the Clare Lions was named Most Sportsmanlike Player.
Named to the tourney all star team were: forwards Mark Dainton, Nunavut; Brandyn Ross, Avon River Rats; Ryan Bastarache, Hampton Hurricanes; defensemen James Swaine, Ice Dogs; Tyler Karst, Nunavut; and goalie Tyler Whynot, Avon River Rats.
Ice Dogs capture Maritime Hockey North title
By Kathy Johnson
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