UPDATED: Regals win Atlantic midget championship

Eric McCarthy, Journal Pioneer
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ALBERTON — The Atlantic minor midget AAA championship tournament’s gold medal game bore a couple of similarities to the deciding game of the P.E.I. midget AAA championship series 11 days earlier: Same two teams, same final score.

The Island champions and hosts of the Atlantic tournament, the Western Regals, downed the Mid-Isle Matrix 4-2 before a packed house at the Jacques Cartier Arena here Sunday afternoon.

Brendan Smith scored the insurance goal into the empty net with 28 seconds remaining in the third period to relieve the pressure that had been building.

It was his first goal of the tournament and admittedly, an easy one, but, “It felt pretty good,” Smith said. “It took a lot of pressure off. We were all nervous, but after that, we knew we had it.”

The Regals had celebrated a fourth goal three minutes prior to Smith sealing the deal, but that goal was subsequently ruled off with the referees determining it was gloved into the Matrix net.

With the pressure off, emotions boiled over with one second remaining in the game. The Matrix took exception to a spirited scramble in their goal crease and two fights ensued. Emotions were still high during the post-game handshake and another fighting major was issued to each team.

Over the entire game, the Matrix took nine minors, three fighting majors and five 10-minute misconducts. The Regals were assessed four minors a double minor, three fighting majors and six 10-minute misconducts.

Regals coach Brett Corcoran played down the finish, preferring to focus on the celebration taking place on the ice around him.

“It’s just emotions boiled over after playing each other 13 times.”

Smith admitted he had confidence in the team heading into the Atlantic tournament. “I knew if we played good we’d win,” he said. “We play good as a team.”

Jason Gallant scored twice for the Regals, including the game-winner. That was his “biggest goal by far,” he said.

“It’s a good feeling,” Gallant said of the victory. “It’s one of the best feelings I’ve ever had in my life and it will probably be one of the best feelings I’ll ever have.”

Gallant was named the Regals player of the game. The Matrix player of the game award went to Liam O’Connor whose first period goal had given his team a 1-0 lead.

Jake Arsenault scored with 1:38 remaining in the first period for the Regals to tie the game at 1-1. Earning assists in the Regals win were Brandon Williams (2), Brendan Shea (2), Curklan Fraser, Thomas Fraser and Brett Aylward.

Spencer Francis scored the Matrix second goal midway through the second period Earning assists for the Matrix was Matt Craig, Jacob Stewart and James Murphy.

Goaltenders for the championship game were Avery Arsenault for the Regals, and for the Matrix, Sean MacPhee.

Team Nova Scotia, the Bedford Blues, was awarded the tournament bronze medals following a 6-1 win over Team Newfoundland and Labrador, St. John’s Marshalls, in a game that was significantly closer than the score would suggest.

The start of the five-team tournament on Thursday was delayed due to the lingering effects of last Wednesday’s blizzard. Many members of the Nova Scotia team and the New Brunswick team, the Saint John Warriors, found themselves stranded in New Brunswick for part of the day on Thursday waiting for the winds to subside so the Confederation Bridge could reopen to traffic. The tournament schedule had to be revised, but by Saturday, everything was back on track.

Standings at the end of round robin had the Regals in first place with four wins and eight points, the Matrix in second with three wins and six points, followed by the Marshalls with three points from a win, two losses and a tie, the Blues with two points from a pair of ties, and the Saint John Warriors earning one point from a tie.

At the tournament awards banquet Saturday night at the Rodd Mill River Resort, TJ Shea of the Regals was named tournament MVP and his teammate, Brandon Williams, was named top defenceman. Cody Miller of the Matrix received the top scorer award and his goaltender, Sean MacPhee was named top goaltender. The only award that didn’t go to the Island teams was the top forward award. That went to the Marshalls’ Grant Nolan.


Organizations: Petro Canada Matrix 4

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Recent comments

  • Huh?
    April 01, 2014 - 17:05

    Why would the Atlantic minor midget AAA championship be hosted at such a small facility? That makes no sense when we have much more appropriate arenas on the Island, 3 with double ice surfaces. I'm baffled.

  • Hockey parent
    March 31, 2014 - 18:12

    Yes the Regals players were totally innocent! There are a number of issues here that should be addressed. Emotions ran high as these players played hard fought games against each other numerous times. The matrix players were wrong in the way it ended but the Regal player also fought. I have never seen a winning team fight...shame on them as well. Lets not forget the ABUSE the matrix players took from fans and the Regals players over and over again every time they played each other in Alberton rink. The bigger issue was the poor reffing throughout the entire game that led to this result. Talk to the fans and coaches from the other provincial teams regarding the unfair reffing every time a team played the host western Regals. Hockey P.E.I, had nothing to be proud of before this game incident. They allowed the Midget Atlantics to be hosted in a rink that did not have a big enough ice surface, no adequate seating or bathroom facilities, and poor parking. Matric parents and fans ( and the other teams as well but more so the MAtrix fans) were subject every time we played the Regals to no seating available unless you were at the rink one hours before game time, blocked in the parking lot, continuous abusive behavior by fans some of who were intoxicated, and the best part is the security that was hired were fathers of the Regals player...how Unbiased is that not to mention unsafe. Lastly almost every Regals fan forgets that each of these young men are someones son that you screamed at, abused, and bood of the ice. That was really classy! Yes the players didnt act good but the fans are grown adults. My final statement is the matric players had to be escorted out the back door of Alberton rink even though they lost. I hate to see what would have happened in that rink if we they had one. I heard one father say to his son" some things never change, this is what use to happen to me when I played hockey up here"

  • JY
    March 31, 2014 - 16:27

    Hey Bystander, I was right there behind the glass when it happened. 3 players jumped the one Regal player. 1 second left in a game that Matrix already lost. I watched the handshake there and later that night on a video posted on Facebook. Quit trying to back up these Matrix players for their disgusting act. If you don't like the comments don't read them. I paid my money all season and all tournament, and been doing so to support this team and league since I was a kid growing up in Alberton in the 80s. Many people waited a long time to watch something that memorable happening. It's as valuable as the Caps 1997 League and RBC Cup wins, or the Charlottetown Islanders Senior team wins, and other great hockey moments. Many in that rink supporting that team for decades. It is a cherished team to many of us so I apologize if you do not like seeing all the negative comments but it put a sour taste in our mouths seeing that great game end like that. We'll move on and celebrate the victory, but I am demanding the President, Executive Director and Referee-In-Chief of Hockey PEI who were all in attendance Sunday to make any suspensions public. Show that that won't be tolerated. Yes we also agree the Regals players fighting get their discipline too, but definitely want answers.

    March 31, 2014 - 14:12

    To Embarrassing, I don't see anyone making comments here blaming the kids from the West, and I won't be defending the kids from the Matrix OR the West, but I believe that you were watching a different game than me if you think one team alone is to blame for the mess at the end. Please just leave your comments to yourself, I'm sick of coming on here and seeing blame blame whine whine. I'm sure that those guilty will be punished, as I believe that they already have been. Congrats to the West and Matrix for a hard played game and for representing the Island.

    March 31, 2014 - 10:01

    This BS happens because everyone involved with hockey, including and especially Don Cherry, think fighting is part of our game. It is not. The only ones who think that are the knuckle draggers.

  • Embarrassing
    March 30, 2014 - 18:38

    The word going around the province tomorrow about this game is the brawl at the end of the game, and it sickens me to some people that I mentioned it to already they said, typical up west. I haven't lived up west in almost 20 years but it was NOT the fault of any player, coach or parent in West Prince! This was an absolutely disgusting act by a few players on the Mid-Isle Matrix team ruining the conclusion of an unbelievable rivalry established this season. A good head to head war in the Regular Season, a playoff series that went the distance, and two great matches this tournament including the final today. 3 players jump one Regals player with 1 second left. Refs call the game and for whatever reason allow the handshake to occur afterwards but I suppose reason was there to think game is over and show some respect. I am absolutely sickened by the Matrix players at the end and I hope years down the road when this game is talked about they will realize how stupid they were today and embarrassed their team, association, and once again.......... giving the sport of hockey a black eye. Reasons like this why more people keep switching to Soccer, Basketball, Gymnastics, Squash, Curling etc.

    • Hockey fan
      March 30, 2014 - 20:43

      Every game both teams lined up after games , matrix coach should of kept his team cool and made them stand at blue line like very other team did , on tv showed regals coach pulling his players away that had to defend th selves , really disappointed as a matrix supporter , embarrassing for the community and congrats to regals and coaching staff well represented for pei , I hope HPEI deals with what happened as really made hockey on pei look bad specially with Hpei president in the building