League News


Meagher paces Penguins who tie series at 2-2

Devin Meagher’s two goals in a span of 39 seconds in the final half of the third period broke open a wide-open 2-2 game and enabled the Penguins to tie the Nova Scotia Junior Hockey League Championship Series at 2-2 with the AA Munro Antigonish Jr. Bulldogs in Lantz Friday evening.  The two teams now head back to Antigonish for Game 5 Easter Sunday evening at 7:30 p.m.  From a fairly solid-checking game and a 2-0 Bulldogs win Thursday night, the Pens outshot Antigonish 58-56 Friday night and after allowing no goals Thursday, Cody MacEachern was beaten for 6 Friday.  The Pens held a 1-0 lead after the opening period on the first of two goals from Nico Kane with only 2:23 left to go in the opening frame.  In the second, Jake MacDonald tied it for the Jr. Bulldogs with 5:43 having been played but Kane then scored his second of the game to put the Pens in front 2-1.  With less than four minutes to play in the middle period, Sam Grant tied it once again for Antigonish.

The third period then started and there was no scoring through the opening ten minutes before Meagher struck with his pair and Robbie Dowell and Brody Fraser followed up with goals in the final 6 minutes to give the Pens their 6-2 win.  One thing is for sure and that is we are now guaranteed a 6th game in this Championship series Saturday April 23 in Lantz.
Apr 16, 2022

MacEachern SO-Jr. Bulldogs go up 2-1.

Cody MacEachern was not kept overly busy in the Jr. Bulldogs net Thursday evening in Antigonish but what he faced, he stopped as he recorded a shut-out in the AA Munro Jr. Bulldogs 2-0 win over the East Hants Penguins.  The win enabled the Jr. Bulldogs to move ahead in their Nova Scotia Junior Hockey League Championship series 2-1 with game 4 back in Lantz tonight (Good Friday) starting at 7:30.  MacEachern stopped 24 shots for Antigonish while Grant Sanford stopped 23 of 25 shots for the Penguins who will now face the unenviable task of playing Game 4 tonight and trying to tie the series at 2-2 and not going to Antigonish for Game 5 Sunday night down 3-1.  Sam Mattie put the Jr. Bulldogs on the scoreboard with his 9th goal of the 21-22 playoffs with a little more than 6 minutes to play in the opening period.  It stayed 1-0 Bulldogs until the third period when Sam Grant scored his fourth of the playoffs with 7:43 having elapsed in the final frame.  Game tonight in Lantz once again is 7:30.  The winner of this Provincial Championship Series will go to Cocagne, New Brunswick for the Don Johnson Memorial Cup presented for Atlantic Junior Hockey Supremacy.  The tournament starts Tuesday April 26 and concludes with the Championship Game Sunday May 1.

Apr 15, 2022

Bulldogs and Pens tied 1-1 in Chmps Series

Game 3 is now set in the Nova Scotia Junior Hockey League Championship Series for Thursday night in Antigonish after the AA Munro Antigonish Jr. Bulldogs and East Hants Penguins split their opening two games in 21-22 Championship Series.  Both games were exceptionally close with the Jr. Bulldogs after a prolific season managed to tie the series at one game apiece on a power-play goal from Sam Mattie with 3:15 left in the opening ten-minute overtime period Saturday night in Lantz.  Mattie’s goal came while Noah Parent of the Pens was serving a cross-checking penalty.

The Penguins jumped in front 2-0 after one period on goals from Ethan Walker two minutes into the game and Nico Kane with 7:41 to play in the first.  The Jr. Bulldogs came right back in the second as Mattie scored his first of two 41 seconds into the middle period and Ryan MacLellan tied it for the Jr. Bulldogs 3:13 later.  The score stood 2-2 heading into the third period when Bruen Fisher scored 7:46 into the third period but the Pens could not hang on as Will Fitzsimmons tied it for Antigonish just 1:02 later to knot the game at 3-3 and force the overtime.  This game was wide-open and a far cry from the defensive effort put forth in Friday’s Penguins win as the Jr. Bulldogs outshot East Hants 65-59.  In Friday’s Opener:
East Hants   4      Antigonish  2
The two teams exchanged a pair of goals in the opening period as Brody Fraser scored twice for the Pens while Jake MacDonald and Fearghus MacDonald tallied for the Bulldogs.  The teams played scoreless in the second before Evan McHenry scored on the power-play with 9:00 left in regulation to put the Pens in front 3-2.  Logan Colter added an empty net marker with 1:10 to play in regulation to make the final 4-2 Penguins. East Hants outshot the Jr. Bulldogs 29-23.  The teams now have a four-day break before they go at it hard over the Easter Weekend as the Pens play in Antigonish Thursday night, the teams come back to East Hants for game 4 Good Friday evening at 7:30 and then go back to Antigonish for a 7:30 clash Easter Sunday evening.  For Junior Hockey Fans, it could be all the Easter Bunny can bring, 3 phenomenal hockey games in four days over the Easter Weekend.  Stay tuned.
Apr 10, 2022

Game 1 of NS Provincial Chmps Series tonight

For the first time since the spring of 2019, the Nova Scotia Junior Hockey League will be able to crown a Provincial Champion.  It almost happened last year when the East Hants Penguins and Membertou Jr. Miners had played a few games in the championship series before the Covid Virus became so rampant, no recourse was left but to shut-down the remainder of the series.
One year later, there are thousands and thousands more who have been vaccinated and received a booster shot that is making the sickness far more manageable if or when someone is struck by it.  Game 1 between the East Hants Penguins and the AA Munro Antigonish Jr. Bulldogs will be played tonight at 7:30 at the Antigonish Arena with game 2 going back to Lantz for a 7:30 start Saturday night.  Covid did prevent the league in 21-22 from having a 32 game regular season but a 3/4 of a season was still obtainable with a full playoff schedule to determine the League Finalists.
East Hants and the Jr. Bulldogs were still able to play their regular two-game regular season schedule prior to the 2 month shut-down at Christmas and the AA Munro Jr. Bulldogs were able to win both games 7-5 and 4-2 to outscore the Pens in the two games 11-6.  The Jr. Bulldogs had a remarkable regular season going 21-0-1 and placing first in the Sid Rowe Division while being the only team to score 100 goals in regular season play scoring 117 and allowing 63 for a plus/minus differential of +54 while the Pens finished in fourth place in the Fred Fox Division with a 10-7-0 record for 20 points scoring 79 and allowing 59 goals for a plus/minus differential of +20.
The Jr. Bulldogs last won a NS Championship in 2005-2006 and they last won an Atlantic Championship in back to back years of 82-83 and 83-84.  East Hants last won a NS Junior Championship in 2011-2012 and an Atlantic Championship in 2006-2007.
The Jr. Bulldogs on paper appear to have the stronger club but what appears on paper and then happens on the ice are often two different things.  The Bulldogs have Regular season MVP Fearghus MacDonald who has recorded 59 points in both regular season and playoff competition scoring 27 goals and collecting 32 assists for 59 points.  Not far behind were Jake MacDonald with 15 goals and 36 assists for 51 points and Sam Mattie with 27 goals and 24 assists and 51 points as well.  If the Pens hope to do anything, these three players for the Bulldogs will have to be slowed down.  As for the Penguins, their top two guns will also need an extra special look by Bulldog defence as Evan McHenry scored 21 goals and 29 assists for 50 points in both the Regular season and playoffs while Bruen Fisher scored 13 times and added 26 assists for 39 points.
In nets, the Jr. Bulldogs have the always dependable Cody MacEachern who finished the regular season with a 13-2-0 record with a 2.89 goals against average and a .901 save percentage while stopping 402 of 44 shots that he faced.  Luke Sampson was a commendable back-up going 7-0 with a 2.77 goals against average while stopping 145 of 164 shots.  Grant Sanford was the driving force in the Penguin nets with a record of 5-3-0 for a 2.07 Goals against average and a 0.928 save percentage while stopping 205 of 221 shots.
Special Teams is another crucial ingredient of any regular season or playoff game and the Bulldogs certainly have a formidable power-play scoring 22 time in 22 regular season games while adding 5 short-handed goals.  For the Pens, they scored 10 Power-play markers and added 6 short-handed goals in 17 regular season games.
Junior Fans should be in for a good treat as these two teams for the right to advance to the Don Johnson Memorial Cup Championship in Cocagne, New Brunswick April 26-May 1.
Apr 8, 2022

Pens-Antg to play for NS Champship

It will be the AA Munro Antigonish Jr. Bulldogs and the East Hants Penguins playing for the 2021-2022 Nova Scotia Junior Hockey League Championship after both teams secured their divisional finals in six games Saturday night.

Antigonish  6    Membertou Jr. Miners  3
Coming off a 7-2 loss in Game 4 of this series, the Jr. Bulldogs knew they had to somehow shut-down the high flying combo of Blake Cox, Andrew McCarron and Coby McCarron of the Jr. Miners as the 3 players had burned them for a total of 21 points in Games 3 and 4.  This writer is not exactly sure what magical potion was developed by the Jr. Bulldogs in their strategy meetings prior to games 5 and 6 but whatever it was, it was highly effective as the three players after recording 21 points in Games 3 and 4, were held to one assist, that being an assist by Andrew McCarron in Saturday’s loss.  The Bulldogs showed no mercy in Saturday’s game at the Membertou Sport and Wellness Centre as they staked themselves to a 4-0 first period lead and never looked back.  Fearghus MacDonald’s goal with 2:21 left in the opening frame was on the power-play and also the game winner.  Other Bulldogs goals in the first went to Jake MacDonald who finished with a five point night as he also collected 4 assists to go along with his goal.  Sam Mattie scored the first of his 3 on the evening to go along with an assist while the other goal went to Tyler Boyd.  The final 2 goals by the Bulldogs belonged to Mattie, one each in the second and third periods.  For the Jr. Miners, Brandon Grant and Ashton Paul tallied.  Antigonish outshot the Jr. Miners 38-33 and advanced to their first Nova Scotia Junior Championship series since 2007-2008 when they lost a 7 game final to the Windsor Royals.  Antigonish last won a Nova Scotia Junior Hockey Championship in 2005-2006 and last won the Don Johnson Memorial Cup in back-to back seasons of 1982-83 and 1983-84. The Bulldogs did go to a Don Johnson Memorial Cup for Atlantic Hockey Supremacy but this was in a year when the League Champs - the former St. Margaret’s Bay team were unable to go in 2010-2011.  The Nova Scotia Championship series begins with two games this weekend, Friday night in Antigonish at 7:30 with game 2 back in Lantz Saturday night at 7:30 p.m.
East Hants   3     Capstone   2
At the Eastern Shore Community Centre Saturday night, the fourth place Penguins from the regular season advanced to the League Championship with a hard-fought 3-2 win over the Colts.  The Colts took a 2-1 first period lead on goals from Griffin Peers and Brayden Hooper-Richard with only 47 seconds remaining in the opening frame.  AJ Guildford tallied for East Hants.  Devin Meagher then scored the game tying goal in the second and the game winner on a short-handed effort mid-way through the third to give the Pens a berth in the Championship series.  The Colts outshot the Pens 31-22.  East Hants last won a Nova Scotia Junior Championship in 2011-2012 but did appear in a Don Johnson Cup as Nova Scotia’s representative in 2017-2018 as the Jr. Miners played host to the Championship but also won it.  East Hants last won a Provincial Championship and Don Johnson Cup in the same year in 2006-2007.
Apr 4, 2022

Game 6 Bulldogs and Jr. Miners tonight

The AA Munro Antigonish Jr. Bulldogs are now one win away from advancing to the NSJHL Championship Series following a strong defensive performance before home fans in Antigonish Friday night as they defeated the Membertou Jr. Miners 4-1.  The two teams are going back to Membertou tonight (Saturday) for the 6th game of the series at 7:30 p.m.  The goal which did the Jr. Miners in was a short-handed effort by the League’s MVP Fearghus MacDonald  who tallied only 5:06 into the opening period and came only 32 seconds after Luke Baldwin’s power-play goal had given Antigonish a 1-0 lead.  Baldwin then made it 3-0 before Andrew McCarron scored the Jr. Miners only goal of the night with 1:29 remaining in the opening period.  The score remained 3-1 through two periods before Tyler Boyd put the Jr. Bulldogs by 3 just 1:06 into the third period and it was all the scoring the game would see as the Bulldogs won their third game in this Best-of-Seven Divisional Final.  The game was intense and chippy as 127 minutes in penalties were called including 7 misconducts and a major.  The Jr. Bulldogs are hoping they can catch a breather prior to the start of a provincial championship series against the winner of East Hants and Capstone but they will have to win in Membertou Saturday night.  If a 7th game is required, it will go back to Antigonish Wednesday night for a 7:30 start.  The Colts and East Hants Penguins with the Pens up 3-1 will play Game 5 in their series Saturday night starting at 6:30 at the Eastern Shore Community Centre.  Game 6 if necessary goes back to Lantz Sunday evening.

Apr 2, 2022