While the St. John’s Privateers have their gaze locked solely on the 2011 TELUS Cup as hosts of the National Midget Championship, three players took time out of the Newfoundland and Labrador Major Midget Hockey League schedule to represent their province at the 2011 Canada Winter Games in Halifax, N.S.
Forwards Marcus Cuomo, Liam Hynes and Nathan Yetman had the rare opportunity to wear provincial colours, and helped the Newfoundlanders to a 10th-place finish. Hynes led the team in scoring with seven points (five goals, two assists) in six games, while Cuomo and Yetman each chipped in three points.
“The Canada Games experience was unforgettable,” says Yetman, a St. John’s native. “It was great for my game to get to play against the top players in the country, and it was a great experience to be around the different athletes from all over Canada.”
While the team’s finish wasn’t quite what it had hoped, all three Privateers relished the big-game experience the tournament provided and the pride felt by representing your province.
“Walking out with the Newfoundland and Labrador contingent during the opening ceremonies was such a thrill,” Yetman says. “That moment made me realize how special of an event I was privileged to have been chosen to be a part of.”
With the Games done and Cuomo, Hynes and Yetman back in the orange and black of the Privateers, the team turns its focus back to a chase for league, regional and national championships. The NLMMHL took a break during the Canada Games, meaning St. John’s had 27 days off between the end of its semifinal series victory over Western and the start of the league final against the Central IcePak, which opened last Saturday.
Showing no signs of rust the Privateers romped to an early 2-0 series lead over the IcePak, winning the first two games on home ice by a combined 20-2.
“Throughout the whole season, we have been preparing (for the TELUS Cup) by trying to improve our game every time we step on the ice whether it be at practice, at a game or at a tournament,” Yetman says. “We have come together as a group of players both on and off the ice and by doing that, we have gelled together as a solid team on the ice. Our goal as a team from the start of the season was to win the provincials, head to the Atlantics and to prove we deserve to be at the TELUS Cup.”
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