League News


Bulldogs going for 3rd Provincial Chmps.

The defending Atlantic and Nova Scotia Junior Champion, the Antigonish Jr. Bulldogs open the first round of the playoffs in Antigonish this evening with a 7:30 start in the downtown arena.  The Bulldogs went 26-4-2 during the regular season while their opponent, the fourth place Pictou County Scotians went 15-16-1.  The Scotians ran into some misfortune late in the fall when they were caught using an illegal player and had eight wins taken away from them, if it was not for that, they would have been neck and neck with the Jr. Bulldogs for first place with a record of 23-8-1.

The Scotians have played exceptionally strong hockey in the latter stages of the 23-24 season going 8-1-1 over their past 10 games while the Bulldogs in their last five went only 2-3-0. Many interested observers contest this series will be one to watch carefully as in the four games played between the two clubs in the regular season, Antigonish won 6-2 and 4-2 while the Scotians won 6-5 in a shoot-out and 3-2 in regulation.  The Bulldogs outscored the Scotians 17-13 over those four games.  Both teams scored 26 power-play goals on the season with Pictou adding two short-handed goals and the Bulldogs one.
When it comes to offense, both teams proved they could supply it as the Jr. Bulldogs recorded the most goals scored by any team in the league by producing 150 in their 32 games and allowing the least amount in 71.  The Scotians meanwhile scored 105 and allowed 97 meaning they placed 6th in offense and 5th in defence.
Nate Supryka of the Scotians won the League Scoring Championship producing 44 points with 20 goals and 24 assists.  The leading scorer for the Jr. Bulldogs was Will Fitzsimmons who had 37 points on 17 goals and 20 assists for 37 points.  He likely would have done even more if he had not faced a 5-game suspension in the latter part of the season which held up his points production.  Besides Fitzsimmons, the Bulldogs had three other players with goals in double figures in Sam Grant, Logan McGrath and Zachary Lorette.  While Ethan Twoolan scored only 8 goals, he was still dominant on offense racking up 22 assists.  Tully Grant was another player as he scored six times but like Twoolan knew how to set-up plays collecting 19 assists.
Other Scotian offensive plugs were Matt Caron who rifled home 20 goals and recorded 11 assists for 31 points and Jason Kennaly who totalled 31 points on 14 goals and 17 helpers.
As for goaltending, Adam Tkacz without a doubt was perhaps the best in the league as he recorded 4 shut-outs to go along with a record of 14-6-0.  He had a 2.57 Goals Against Average and a .915 save percentage stopping 548 of the 599 shots he faced. For the Scotians, they had three net minders they could depend on as Jack Cameron went 9-3-0 with a 3.30 GAA and a .921 save percentage, Brandon Connors who had a 4:04 GAA  and Eli James who recorded a 2.67 GAA to go along with a .923 save percentage.
Plenty is at stake as the Scotians will try and win their first Nova Scotia Championship since the 2016-2017 season while attempting to keep the Jr. Bulldogs from winning their third straight.  The Series Schedule shapes up like this:
Game 1 — Fri Mar 1/24 — at Antigonish — 7:30 p.m.
Game 2 — Sun, Mar 3/24 — at Trenton   — 6:00 p.m.
Game 3 — Mon Mar 4/24 — at Antigonish — 7:30 p.m.
Game 4 — Thurs Mar 7/24 - at Trenton — 6:30 p.m.
******** - only if necessary
Game 5 — Fri Mar 8/24 —   at Antigonish — 7:30 p.m.
Game 6 — Sun Mar 10/24 — at Trenton — 6:00 p.m.
Game 7 — Mon Mar 11/24 — at Antigonish — 7:30 p.m. 
Mar 1, 2024