Novas take first place

ANTIGONISH: The Nova Major Bantams are now the number one team in the Nova Scotia Major Bantam Hockey League.

The Novas claimed the top tier in the 12-team provincial league last weekend, when dropping the Dartmouth Whalers 5-1 on Saturday and St. Margaret’s Bay Gulls 6-4 on Sunday. The wins buoy the Novas to a 13-5 record, good for a two point lead over both the Gulls and the Bedford Barons.

The Antigonish/Port Hawkesbury team leads the league in offense, with 82 goals scored in just 18 games.

The Nova goaltending tandem of Jack Milner (.920 save percentage) and Jeffery Quinn (.890 save percentage) have been shutting things down in their own end, having allowed only 45 goals so far. That’s the second lowest total in the league.

It was Quinn backstopping the Novas on Saturday, facing 16 shots for his efforts.

Up front, the Novas’ top marksman, Tyler Peddle, popped two goals and managed a helper to remain at the top of league scoring with 36 goals and 16 assists in 18 games. Also strong for the blue and white were Tully Grant, Marcus Pelly-Conrad, and Riley Sampson, all managing a goal and assist. Leyton Stewart had two helpers.

Grant is the number six scorer in the league, with 27 points.

Sunday’s game was a battle of Major Bantam heavy weights, but it was the Novas who delivered the knockout in the first period, connecting for four goals to the Gulls’ one. The Gulls popped two more goals in the second, making things a competitive 4-3 game, but the Novas fired back to outscore the hosts 2-1 in the final period.

Grant (two goals and two assists) and Peddle (a goal and three assists) both had stand-out games, and Sampson was potent with a goal and two helpers. Stewart had two assists, and both Pelly-Conrad and Cody MacDougall had a goal each. Rory Wood and Damon MacDonald both set up goals, and Milner stopped 28 of 32 shots.

The Novas are on the road this Saturday to visit the Joneljim Cougars in Sydney at 7:15 p.m.

The Novas return to the Antigonish Arena on the weekend of December 14, hosting ACCEL Physio at 5 p.m. Saturday and the Wear Well Bombers at noon on Sunday.