CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. – Carter Champion has an eye on playing hockey south of the border after high school.
“There’s a lot of great players in that game, so it’s an honour to be picked,” said Champion, a 16-year-old Kensington resident.
“I think I’d like to try and play (college hockey) . . . in the States,” he added. “(I’m going to) just try to keep working hard and if the door opened, I’d take that opportunity for sure.”
The exposure south of the border was one of the reasons he chose the Mount Academy, a second-year private school that operates out of Charlottetown.
The academy’s student-athletes played on their club team last year while working on their fitness and skills at the academy. This year, the Mount Academy’s under-16 team is playing in the East Coast Elite League for the first time.
Joining Champion in the all-star game will be forwards Kayden MacLeod and Riley MacDougall.
“We’re all honoured and excited to represent the school,” said MacDougall, a hard-working playmaker from Stratford who is responsible defensively.
MacLeod, a sniping left-winger from Cornwall, said he joined the Mount to get stronger and faster while improving his overall game. He sees the all-star nod as vindication his game has improved.
“It’s a pretty unbelievable experience. I was pretty happy to get announced to go to this event,” he said.
Champion said it is nice to be able to share the experience with his teammates, even though they will play on opposite squads at the showcase event.
“I was happy to see that those boys were there, too,” he said. “They’re really good players. I know they’ll do well, so hopefully we all can have a really good game.”
Former Summerside Western Capitals goalie Tim MacPhee coaches the Saints team and is proud of the trio’s recognition to be among the league’s stars.
“They definitely deserve that opportunity. They’re leaders on our team,” he said. “One thing that sticks out is they’re all good students and there’s usually a correlation between good hockey players and good students.”
Champion is the student council president, and MacDougall is the vice-president.
While the game is important, the event will also provide the three boys with a chance to network with new coaches and meet some other players on a personal level as opposed to as counterparts.
“That’s what hockey is all about – making those connections,” MacPhee said.
Saints headmaster Kenny MacDougall said there are players in the league who already have committed to division one schools in the United States or have been selected in the United States supplementary draft of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.
“It’s a high-quality league and it’s fast, fast hockey,” he said. “To have a goalie and two forwards recognized, it’s a great start for our program.”
The Saints are 2-6 in the 13-team league. They play four games in three days beginning Friday in Boston. While it is always hard to be atop a league in the first year of existence, Kenny MacDougall said the Mount has proven it can run a quality program and give its players exposure. The academy has had interest from students in Maine and Vermont.
Champion said it is great to have MacPhee, Nelson MacAulay and Wayne Savage on staff to work on his skills.
“I take all the tips I can get from them. It certainly makes a big different. They know what they’re talking about.”
Need to know
A look at the three Mount Academy Saints who will play in the East Coast Elite League all-star game.
Age – 16.
Hometown – Kensington.
Height, weight, position – A five-foot-11, 165-pound goalie.
2017-18 team – Summerside Capitals midget AAA.
W L GAA SAV%
6 8 3.07 .921
Age – 16.
Hometown – Cornwall.
Height, weight, position – A five-foot-eight, 135-pound left-winger.
2017-18 team – Mid-Isle Matrix midget AAA.
GP G A Pts.
24 17 5 22
Age – 16.
Hometown – Stratford.
Height, weight, position – A five-foot-eight, 155-pound centre.
2017-18 team – Charlottetown Bulk Carriers Pride major midget.
GP G A Pts.
25 9 27 36