For the second year in a row, the Tri-Pen Ice will represent Newfoundland & Labrador at the Atlantic Region championship after claiming the provincial title with a 6-1 win over Eastern in the championship game Feb. 5 in Goulds, N.L.
The Ice will travel to Bathurst, N.B., for the Atlantics, March 29 to April 1.
“This team is basically the same group of players that won the Atlantic Bantam title a couple of years ago,” Tri-Pen assistant coach Craig Cole told the Clarenville Packet. “Not to blow our own horn but we've got our sights on not only going to be competitive but we're going with the intent to win. We have our sights set on going to the national championship.”
Natalie Keeping paced the Tri-Pen attack in the final with a pair of goals, while Noel Russell, Jenny Connelly, Jenelle Blundell and Jennifer Guy each added singles for the Ice, who were the odd team out following the preliminary round at last year’s regionals in Montague, P.E.I., going winless in four games to miss out on the semifinals.
Tri-Pen was the class of the round robin in Goulds, scoring victories over Central (5-0), Eastern (3-2) and Northern (9-1) to clinch first place and earn a bye directly into the championship game.
The bye meant the Ice got to sit back and watch what was undoubtedly the most exciting game of the tournament: Eastern’s 2-1 four-overtime semifinal victory over Central in what was Eastern’s third game of the day.