Privateers looking for strong 22-23 season
With the Liverpool Privateers hosting the Don Johnson Memorial Cup at the Queens Place Emera Centre in April/May 2023, Team Management have been exceptionally busy during this off-season trying to build a strong club that will challenge for Atlantic Junior Hockey Supremacy. The host Privateers will square off against the four other Provincial Atlantic Champions in a 6 day tournament. If the Privateers win the Nova Scotia Championship this season, then the team losing in the finals would become the other Nova Scotia team as the host province is always guaranteed two teams in the tourney.
Privateers GM Jim Bottomley whose Privateers lost a crushing 7 game divisional semi-final to the Capstone Colts last season opened their 2022-23 Exhibition Season with a 6-1 win over Sackville Monday night. Their second exhibition game follows this Sunday at the Halifax Civic Centre at 4:00 p.m. against East Hants who lost in the league finals to Antigonish last season. In a short interview with the Junior League’s web writer Wednesday during the lunch hour, the GM said the loss of four solid-over agers in Matt Ormon and Kayden Nickerson who were scoring machines in recent years, goaltender Keaghan Larade and Josh Nicholson. Bottomley said “it is a fact of life when you lose players in Jr. Hockey to age but that’s the way it is. He added, “despite the loss of the four players, he has every confidence in net minder Eric Bilodeau who will be an over-ager this season, as well newcomers Kyle Hopkins, who played 1/2 a season with the Bridgewater Lumberjacks of the Maritime Junior A Hockey League before being sent back to finish the season with the South Shore Mustangs of the Nova Scotia Triple A Midget Hockey League. Hopkins is a steady mobile defence man who played with the Privateers in the playoffs. Bottomley is also looking forward to the addition of Mathias Elles drafted by the QMJHL’s Cape Breton Screaming Eagles last season before becoming an All-Star with the Halifax MacDonald’s Triple A Midget Team.
The Privateers will also have Nolan MacDonald back in the line-up after playing with the Privateers three seasons ago before joining the Campbellton Tigers and then the Yarmouth Mariners in the Maritime Junior A Hockey League. Also back will be the NSJHL’s Rookie of the Year in 2021-22 Daniel Kline who Bottomley said was a real catch for us and produced some big offensive numbers. After their exhibition game Sunday in Fairview, the Privateers will look toward the regular season with three games in eight days to start the 22-23 season. They will open at home Saturday, Oct 1 against the Sackville Blazers before hitting the road for a pair on Oct 7 and 8 to Windsor to play the Valley Maple Leafs and Oct 8 to play the Elks in Brookfield.
Between now and Sept 23 and the regular season opener, there are a flurry of exhibition games scheduled with a total of five for Thursday, Friday night and Sunday afternoon. They are as follows:
Thursday Sept 15/22 - 8:30 p.m.
Pictou at Antigonish
Friday Feb 16/22
Brookfield at Antigonish - 7:00 p.m.
Valley at Sackville - 7:30 p.m.
Eskasoni at Port Hawkesbury - 7:30 p.m.
Capstone Colts at East Hants Penguins 7:30 p.m.
Sunday Sept 18/22
East Hants vs Liverpool (Halifax Civic Centre - 4:00 p.m.)