Local hockey players off to national championship in B.C.

By Helen Murphy    

MONCTON – Four Guysborough County hockey players are celebrating a highlight of their athletic careers this week. Their part of the Cape Breton West Islands Major Midget team that took the Atlantic Championship in Miramichi this past Sunday, April 2. The team will fly to B.C. to play in the national midget championship, the Telus Cup in Prince George, later this month.

Dylan MacDonald, Indian Harbour Lake; Spencer Barron, Country Harbour; and Craig Ryan and Avery Warner of Mulgrave are on the championship team that defeated the Moncton Flyers 3-2 after taking the provincial title.

The squad of 16- and 17-year-olds is credited with putting a lot of heart and soul into their winning season. For some, including 17-year-old Spencer, this is their final year of Major Midget hockey. As his mother Marsha told The Journal, the exciting road to the Atlantic championship had families and communities from Margaree to Indian Harbour Lake consumed by the action.

“There were fans checking websites for scores, watching live streams, messaging and cheering both from home and in the arenas. I had friends text me from Country Harbour; Atlanta, Georgia and even the Cayman Islands. Ironically, in the final game, our boys had more fans present than the rival team from New Brunswick. People drove five, six or seven hours at 4 a.m. to watch this gold medal game,” she said.

For those not present, social media kept them connected. “I’m not particularly a big user of Facebook, but for this event the adrenaline and excitement had me posting every update I could and still watch the game,” said Marsha. “I was absolutely bowled over by the folks who responded, some of them even admittedly saying how they never even watched a hockey game on TV in their life, were now glued to their screen, double checking with me to make sure they knew what Spencer’s number was on his team jersey.

“I can’t fully find enough words to describe the sense of genuine enthusiasm shared by so many people for these young boys just doing what they love. It is an experience Spencer will never forget and it most certainly is one his parents will never forget either.”