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Burin Peninsula teens bring home national title


Three from Burin Peninsula play with NL Select in national ball hockey championship

MARYSTOWN, N.L.— Three hockey players from the Burin Peninsula came home with some hardware following the 2018 Canadian Ball Hockey Association National Junior Championships held July 25-29 in Fredericton, New Brunswick.

Patrick Farrell and Liam Best, who both competed as part of NL Select ball hockey team in the Under 17 category said taking part in the national tournament was an exciting experience, “It was pretty cool to take part in the nationals,” said Liam Best, “it was a very fun experience, first when I got there I was named an assistant captain of the team so that was pretty cool, I wasn’t expecting that at all…”

The provincial team were unbeaten going into the championship game against TeamBC Thunder, beating them 5-3 to take home the national title.

Best said that going into the tournament the team had only had one practice together, “so we had no idea what was going to happen, our first game we tied the team from Ontario, we thought that was great, cause we didn’t know how much better we were going to do, and then we started beating team like Montreal 5-0…then we realized that we had a good team and could go somewhere with (it)…”

He added as the tournament progressed and they advanced into the semifinals it was then that the game felt they had what it took to bring home the gold.

Patrick Farrell described the championship game against BC as intense, “they scored (within) the first 9 seconds on us, and then they score another one, so we were down 2-0, and then we came back—started working better together and scoring more goals, and one empty net goal at the end.”

Farrell said it was a cause of some worry when BC got off to an early lead.

“I up in the stand watching,” added Farrell’s brother Edward, who also competed at the national tournament with the under 19 provincial team.

“I though the game was over then, it wasn’t looking very good the first nine seconds.

Patrick Farrell said that the was a high caliber of hockey played by all who competed in the tournament, “so there was nothing easy about it,” he said, “it was high speed hockey.”

Both Farrell and Best are eligible to try out for the provincial team again next year, which is something both agree they would do again.

Team Building

Farrell said that many people on the team where just meeting for the first time, he recalled the difference between the bus ride up to the tournament and the one returning to the province.

“first no one was talking to anyone, and on the way back everyone was talking the whole way.”

Under 19

Edward Farrell also played with the NL Select in the Under 19 division, the team advanced to the championship game losing 3-2 to New Tecumseth Xtreme of Ontario.

“We lost in double overtime, but it was a very close game,” he explained, “to have that close a game in tier 1 which Newfoundland hasn’t won ever…is pretty cool.”

Farrell said that it was a cool experience getting to play with the provincial team, “I haven’t done anything like it before, so it’s definitely something I’ll remember.”

Farrell said that he decided to try out for the team because this is the last year he was eligible to compete with the junior team.

He explained that leading up to the nation tournament the team competed in the men’s provincial tournament, as well as the under 17- under 19 world ball hockey tournaments, “…they needed a team to play Great Britain and we played them as a friendly game.” He explained. “It was cool playing against another country.”

Farrell said that they had one win and a loss against the team, “they were the last place team, so we played them just to give them a few more games.”

Colin.farrell@southerngazette.ca

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