The West Hants Warriors took on the Glace Bay Miners in the provincial final in Bridgewater on April 7 and ended up winning the provincial title.
The Warriors came out firing and went up 3-0 early, thanks to two goals from William Shields and one from Porter Crowell.
Glace Bay scored one, but Chase Crowell stood tall in the West Hants goal making save after save.
Despite being shorthanded for much of the second period, the Warriors’ defence held the fort. Ryan Fletcher, Noah Maccumber, Blake Manders, Robert McCullough-Messom, Sarah Leopold and Keaton Joudrey were stalwarts, said team manager Chris Shields.
Although outshot, the Warriors pulled away, stretching the score to 6-1 before the Miners scored in the last minute of play to make it 6-2 for the Warriors.
William Shields was named player of the game for his four goals and an assist. Crowell had the other two goals, including the game winner. Ava Shearer picked up three assists during the final game.
This is the second year in a row that William Shields has won player of the game in the provincial finals. William was highlighted in the Valley Journal-Advertiser’s Living the Dream feature in March.
Six of the Glace Bay Miners play spring hockey with members of the Warriors so the teams knew each other and had friends across the face-off circle, Chris Shields said.
The Atom AA Warriors lost 7-1 to Antigonish in the provincial final last year, he said, and the team had been hoping for a better result this time around.
The win capped off an incredible season. The Warriors went undefeated in league play and won both the mainland league championship against Pictou (7-3) and the South conference championship against TASA Black (3-2).
Glace Bay went undefeated in the Cape Breton league this year, and during the play-off tournament outscored their opponents 70 to 10.
This is the second year in a row five of the players on the West Hants team - William Shields, Wilson Davison, Ryan Fletcher, Noah Macumber and Blake Manders - have played for an Atom AA provincial title and makes seven banners in their two years of Atom AA hockey: Birthplace of hockey tournament champs (2015-2016), Mainland league champs (2015-2016; 2016-2017); South Conference champs (2015-2016; 2016-2017); Maritime Fall Classic champs (2016-2017), and provincial champs (2016-2017).