PORT HOOD: With parity in the Cape Breton West High School Hockey League at an all time high, the Dalbrae Dragons decided to keep rink rust to a minimum over the holidays by having a home-and-home series with the North Nova Gryphons.
“We wanted to play a Division I team because we feel we do better against stronger competition,” said head coach Ardell Hawley. “We played them in Trenton on Saturday, December 28, and they beat us 8-6, but there were lots of positives. That carried over to Sunday and that was a 2-1 final for us.
“Everything clicked for us. We had great goaltending, the offense was there and defense looked good. They moved the puck well, and that’s the sort of stuff we’ve been working on.”
Having a chance to take on a Division I team is a good opportunity to raise the overall game, Hawley said. Earlier in the season, Dalbrae dropped Glace Bay High 5-3 – and that squad is a very good Division I team.
Hawley said the home-and-home with the Gryphons might have been exhibition, but those two games were ones that the Dalbrae were looking to win.
In terms of action in the local league, Dalbrae is one of three teams that have sat near the top of the deck since the start of the season. With them, the Richmond Hurricane and SAERC Saints have been mighty strong.
With those big three, Hawley said the two other team in the league, Eskasoni and Inverness/Baddeck, are capable of surprising a team on any given night.