Warriors repeat

Journal Pioneer staff
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Prince County downs Mid-Isle to win bantam AAA title

O’LEARY – The Prince County Warriors are back-to-back P.E.I. Irving Oil Bantam AAA Hockey League champions.

The Warriors clinched the championship series in the fifth and deciding game at the O’Leary Community Sports Centre on Tuesday night, downing the Mid-Isle Matrix 6-1.

All three of the Warriors’ wins were on home ice, and they limited the Matrix to a single goal in each of the three games played in O’Leary.

“We’ve really been good on home ice all year,” said Warriors head coach Rodney MacArthur. “We knew it was important to get home ice.”

Despite their winning record at home, he admitted the players, parents and coaches were nervous prior to the winner-take-all game, which was played in front of over 600 fans.

“We play a little bigger here at home, I think,” the head coach suggested. “The main thing is comfort level, I guess.”

That comfort level started to really set in as the first period was drawing to a close. The Warriors had opened the scoring with 4:21 remaining in the first period. They went on their first power play with 10 seconds remaining in the opening period, and were up 2-0 nine seconds later.

“That was huge,” MacArthur acknowledged. “It was kind of a set play that we have, and it doesn’t work all the time, but Bennett (MacArthur) is a good scorer so they keyed on him for that shot. Two guys came at him and he was able to slide it to Charlie (DesRoches), and he finished it well.”

Prince County assistant captain Ethan Beaulieu added, “The boys worked really good today (Tuesday).”

Reminded it’s his second championship in as many years with the Warriors, Beaulieu responded, “That’s very lucky right there.”

Season-ending event

Tuesday’s win was a fitting way for the O’Leary Community Sports Centre to close out its year. The plant was being shut off following the game.

The Warriors, who MacArthur suggested have the best power play in Atlantic Canada, added a second power-play goal in the second period, and took a 4-0 lead into the final frame. They were 2-for-3 on the power play while the Matrix was 1-for-4.

Ryan Richards, from Jordan Spence and Nathan Mahar, spoiled the shutout bid of Warriors goaltender Chad Arsenault midway through the final period.

DesRoches led the Warriors with two goals and an assist while Bennett MacArthur tallied a goal and two assists. Also scoring for the Warriors were Chase Gaudette, Thomas Rennie and Carter Cahill, who had a goal and an assist. Other helpers were awarded to Colby MacArthur (2), Caleb Dawson, Stephen Smallwood and Ed McNeill.

The Warriors will represent P.E.I. in the Atlantic bantam AAA championship in Moncton, N.B., from April 6 to 10.


Organizations: O’Leary Community Sports Centre

Geographic location: Prince, Leary, Atlantic Canada P.E.I. Moncton

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