The Flames opened round robin play with a 7-2 victory over the Pictou Red Crushers. Jagger Kane paced the offence with a goal and two assists. Brady Nickerson, Tylan Foster, JJ MacPhee, Lex Swaine, Cadelin Rose and Nolan Atwood picked up one goal each. Emma Swansburg got the win between pipes.
In the second game the Flames edged the Brookfield Elks 3-1, who were the North Nova league leaders heading into the new year. Jagger Kane, Cadelin Rose and Nolan Atwood each found the back of the net for the victors. Devon Nickerson made some key saves for the win in goal.
The last game of the round robin had the Shelburne squad dump the host Truro Bearcats 8-2. Nick Crowell and Nolan Atwood led the attack with two goals each, while Jagger Kane, Cole Nickerson, Brady Nickerson and Tylan Foster added singles. Affiliate Evan Locke racked up two assists and Emma Swansburg made some key saves early on to keep the Bearcats in check.
The 3-0 record advanced the Flames to the semi-final game, while the 3-0 Dartmouth Whalers squad earned the bye to the final on the better goal differential.
The semi-final game would see the Flames struggle to find their game legs against a fast and pesky Halifax Hawks Red squad, but despite this, the Flames battled and gave a gritty performance to earn the 2-0 victory and advance to the championship game for the second consecutive tournament.
In the semi, Jagger Kane scored late in the first frame and Lex Swaine added the insurance marker into the empty net to seal the win behind the solid goaltending of Devon Nickerson.
The championship game had the Flames playing their third game of the day on short rest, up against the hard-working Dartmouth Whalers squad, who benefited from the bye to the final and some extra rest after round robin play.
The coaching staff said the Shelburne squad still put in one of their best efforts of the tournament despite playing on short rest and with a short bench.
The Whalers had skated to a 2-0 lead by early in the second period, but the Flames answered with two goals by Jagger Kane to even the score at 2-2. It looked as if that would be the score heading into the break, but the Flames failed to get a puck in deep and saw the Whalers pounce on the mistake to grab the 3-2 lead with only half a second left in the second period.
The Flames didn't let off and continued to apply relentless pressure in the third, until Jagger Kane, once again, evened the score with his third goal of the contest with just under five minutes remaining.
The assault on the Whalers goal continued only to have their goalie make some incredible saves in the dying moments to save the game for the city squad.
A blown coverage to start the 3-on-3 overtime saw Dartmouth pounce with a 2-on-1 rush and bury the winning goal, claiming the banner for the Whalers.
"The team has been working hard and playing solid defensive hockey. We played well enough to win and deserved a better fate. The effort is definitely there," said assistant coach Brian Holland. "A couple of little mistakes by us and some bad luck around their net ended up being the difference. That's hockey."
The team gives a big shoutout to the Flames defence, Ethan Shand, Noah Smith, Cadelin Rose, and Cole Nickerson, who have been playing with only four D for the past two months due to injuries to the Flames' lineup.
At the conclusion of this tournament the Flames overall season record stood at 19 wins, 5 losses, and 3 ties.
(Source: Shelburne County Minor Hockey Association Bantam A website page)