BEDFORD: Jacob Hudson scored one of the biggest goals of his life Sunday afternoon.
Set up by fellow Cape Breton West Islanders Logan Chisholm and Craig Ryan, Hudson connected on the first rush of the third period to score the go-ahead goal in the championship game of the East Coast Ice Jam.
As a result, the Islanders found themselves skating to a 2-1 win over their Nova Scotia Major Midget Hockey League counterpart, the Halifax McDonalds. A total of 21 teams were vying for the championship in the Major Midget division of the Ice Jam.
“It was a great weekend and a good chance for us to come together as a team,” said coach Kyle MacDonald.
“We looked at it as the ultimate team builder, to come together and win a tournament of that magnitude. All the teams from Atlantic Canada were there, and we played a total of seven games. That’s a lot of hockey, and you really need everybody to win something like that.
“Thankfully, we got contributions from all our guys. It’s the ultimate team effort to win a tournament like this.”
The Islanders started the game with Calum MacPherson (from Hudson and Ryan MacLellan) beating Halifax goalie Dakota Lund-Cornish midway through the first period. That goal was on the power play, as was Halifax’s lone goal of the game. Islander backstop Colton Ellis lost a battle to Ian MacPhee with 20 seconds left in the middle frame, putting Halifax on the board.
In the semi-finals, the Islanders managed a 3-0 win over Newbridge Academy. Leading the charge for the Islanders were Avery Warner, with two goals and an assist; Logan Timmons, with a goal and a single assist; and Keenan Gillis and MacLellan, both managing helpers. Ellis had the shutout.
Quarterfinals saw the Islanders take down a competitive Pictou Weeks squad in a 4-3 final. The Islanders had to rally in the third period to manage the win, as Pictou led 2-1 at the end of two periods.
Stephen Fox (from MacPherson) had an Islander goal in the first frame, but Pictou’s Cameron Allaby and G. Blackmore connected in the second.
With 2:12 played in the third, Timmons (from Gillis and Hudson) used a power play goal to tie the game. After Gavin Hart gave Pictou a second lead, Chisholm (from Hudson) and Hudson (from Matthew MacNeil and Jacob Stewart) connected to win the game.
Ewan MacDonald was in the Islander net.
In the Round of 16, the Islanders scored a 5-4 win over the Steele Subaru Major Midgets.
Hudson and Jacob Stewart had a goal and assist each; Warner, Gillis, and Malcolm MacEachern all had a goal; MacLellan, Ryan, Jack Morris, and Timmons all had assists. Ellis was in net once again.
The Islanders got off to a bit of a shaky start, as the guys lost two of their three round robin games. Newbridge (5-2) and the Moncton Flyers (4-2) both managed wins over the West. The Islanders’ only round robin win came when the Islanders dropped the St. John’s Maple Leafs 6-1.
“That was a blessing in disguise,” said MacDonald of the 1-2 start. “The first two games, we kind of stunk the place out. But the way the guys handled it was great. We got in ranked 15 out of 16, and we just kept coming from there.”