The host Pictou County Bantam AA and Bantam A Crushers have met their test at the 35th Pictou County Bantam Memorial Hockey Tournament.
Now they can return their attention to achieving success on the road toward the provincial championship.
Both teams advanced to the semifinal games on Sunday before being eliminated.
The New Brunswick North West Pionniers edged the Bantam AA Crushers 3-2 in their semifinal match on Sunday and went on to win their division with a 5-3 victory over the N.B. East Scorpions.
Division all-star forward Lane Lochead and Kirk Turnbull scored for the Crushers, who trailed 2-0 after the first period and 3-1 entering the third period.
“We had a slow start and hit our stride in the second and third period, but we just came up short,” Crushers’ head coach Mike Lochead said. “The guys showed we have as good a chance as anybody to win the provincial championship in their category.”
Besides Lane Lochead, Logan Crosby was named an all-star forward, and Brent Chapmen was named an all-star on defence.
The Halifax Hawks won the Bantam A Division by defeating the Bantam Crushers 1-0 in their semifinal match and posting a 3-2 victory in double overtime over the Dartmouth Whalers.
“We did very well,” Crushers’ head coach Victor Melanson said. “We made a statement this weekend. If we play like this going forward, our chances of winning the provincial championships are very good.”
The Bantam AA Crushers went undefeated and entered their cross-over playoffs with third seed based on percentage of goals scored versus goals against.
Crosby and Corey MacGillivray scored twice each as the Crushers downed Cape Breton West 6-2 on Friday in their opener.
Lochead and Chapman also scored.
The Crushers took a 3-2 lead into the third period and outshot their opponents 21-12.
Lochead triggered five goals, while Crosby added three goals and two assists as the Crushers levelled Northside 13-1 on Saturday. Jaden Duplessis and Cale Archibald added two goals each, Eastyn Cameron also scored. The Crushers led 3-0 after one period and 9-1 through two periods. They outshot Northside 56-10.
Crosby and Duplessis scored twice each and Cameron also scored in the Crushers’ 5-2 victory over Dieppe, N.B. later on Saturday. The Crushers had a 37-12 edge in shots.
The Bantam A Crushers reached their cross-over game on goal differential on Saturday as Cameron Munroe’s second and third goals of the game in the third period gave the Crushers a 6-2 victory over the Riverview Blues. The Crushers needed to win the game by three goals to advance.
Dawson MacKay added two goals, while Colbey Nichols also scored for the Crushers, who outshot Riverview 50-23.
The Bantam A Crushers opened on Friday with a 4-3 loss against the Strait-Richmond Pirates.
Late goals by MacKay and Blake MacLennan made it close, while Munroe got the earlier goal for the Crushers, who outshot the Pirates 33-14.
MacKay scored twice as the Crushers rebounded later on Friday by defeating the Bedford Blues 4-1. Munroe and Ty Briand got the other goals for the Crushers who outshot Bedford 37-14.
MacKay was named an all-star forward for the Bantam A Crushers.
Among major awards, Crosby earned the award in memory of John Allan MacDonald as leading Bantam AA scorer, while Chapman received the I.C.E. award presented to a Pictou County Bantam AA player “who best exemplifies intensity, contribution and effort throughout the tournament.”
Goalie Chloe Stroud received the Bantam A Crushers’ I.C.E. award.
Shannon Smith, who chaired the tournament organizing committee, expressed appreciation for the support the event received from volunteers and the business community.
“I hope we have honoured the tradition of our Bantam Memorial tournament and that it continues to live on in remembrance of John Allan, Donald, Shawn and Lee Marie and all the original Scotsburn Bantam A players.”
From left: Bantam Crushers all-star forward Dawson MacKay and Bantam AA all-star forwards Lane Lochead and Logan Crosby and defenceman Brent Chapman. (Goodwin photo)