Tritons have hometown advantage for Old Timers Hockey Championship

Tritons have hometown advantage  for Old Timers Hockey Championship

Tritons have hometown advantage
for Old Timers Hockey Championship

Peter Mallett, Staff writer ~
Home-ice advantage may finally give the CFB Esquimalt Senior Tritons a chance to shed their underdog tag at this year’s Canadian Armed Forces Old Timers Hockey Championship.

The five-day, five-team, 13-game round-robin tournament began Sunday, March 6, at Wurtele Arena when the Senior Tritons faced off against Prairie Region Champion CFB Edmonton. It will conclude with the championship game on Thursday, March 10, at 8:30 a.m.

Senior Tritons assistant coach MS Andrew Johnston says hosting the nationals in their own backyard will allow his team to put together a more competitive lineup. That was not the case at last year’s tournament, held at CFB Borden, when the Tritons finished in last place.

With deployment schedules and other operational commitments, players are sometimes unable to get the time off to travel for tournaments.

“Guys that might not have been able to be released to play in the tournament will be on our roster this time around,” says MS Johnston. “We are very close to having a full team, but the fact remains we are still a small base who will be facing opponents with much larger talent pools to draw on.”

After the tournament curtain-raiser, the Senior Tritons play two games on March 7, battling Atlantic Champion CFB Halifax at 8 a.m. and Ontario Region winner CFB Petawawa at 7:30 p.m. They close out the preliminary round on March 8 at 2 p.m. against defending National Champion, CFB Valcartier.

While the team will be relying heavily on friends, family and hockey fans at the base to cheer them on, strong fan support can also be a mixed blessing, explains Senior Tritons defenceman Maj Mark Kierstead.

“Hometown support is huge and it can be a significant boost, but also a significant challenge to overcome,” he says. “As a player you need to remain even-keeled, approach every shift with that goal in mind and avoid the tendency to ride the highs and lows of the crowd.”

The teams participating in this week’s tournament can add to their roster up to four players from other bases in their region. Esquimalt will be adding four players from 19 Wing Comox: Left-winger, Sgt Richard Pyle, Centre MCpl Jonathan Leguedard, Capt Wayne Atwood, and Goalie MCpl Stephen Arcand.

Monday, March 7
Esquimalt vs. Halifax, 8 a.m.
Edmonton vs. Petawawa, 10 a.m.
Halifax vs. Valcartier, 2 p.m.
Esquimalt vs. Petawawa, 7:30 p.m.

Tuesday, March 8
Edmonton vs. Valcartier, 8 a.m.
Petawawa vs. Halifax, 10 a.m.
Esquimalt vs. Valcartier, 2 p.m.
Edmonton vs. Halifax, 7:30 p.m.

Wednesday, March 9
Semi-final 1, 9:30 a.m.
Semi-final 2, 2 p.m.

Thursday, March 10
Championship Game, 8:30 a.m.

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