North River Atom and Novice squads win Sweetheart Tournament

Mitch MacDonald comment@theguardian.pe.ca
Published on February 14, 2016
NRMHA Sweetheart Female Hockey Tournament 10th anniversary logo.
Photo courtesy of the North River Minor Hockey Association

For the first time in its 10 year history, host teams will keep their championship banners from the North River Minor Hockey Sweetheart Female Hockey Tournament.

North River’s Novice “Vanilla Cupcakes” Atom Flames both won their championship games on Sunday.

The Atom squad downed the Southeast Stars 5-1 in Crapaud’s South Shore Actiplex.

At the same time, the Novice group shut out the Pownal Pink Panthers 2-0 in North River’s APM Centre.

Tournament co-chair Kevin Sentner congratulated both teams on their wins.

“It’s the first time in 10 years a host team has won the tournament,” said Sentner. “We’ve been close a couple of times. We’ve had teams in the finals before but never seemed to be able to get a banner.”

The Bantam AAA Flames also came close to winning their banner.

The squad ultimately won silver in their division Sunday after losing to Miramachi Panthers 3-0.

The tournament showcased female hockey with more than 70 teams playing on nine ice surfaces throughout the weekend.

Sentner said the tournament’s logistics were also a success.

“It went really smooth,” said Sentner. “We had no real hiccups at all really, the weather was good and games have gone smooth.”

Sentner, who has been involved in the tournament since its beginning, said he feels the tourney has had a major impact on female hockey in the province.

“I think its definitely improved in quality,” he said. “That’s what we actually needed the tournament for in the beginning. It was to have a place for the kids to play and to make some money to develop female hockey (in North River).”

Proceeds from this year’s tournament will go towards the entire North River Minor Hockey Association.

“For the last few years, even the boys minor hockey teams have benefitted from this tournament.”