TRURO - The Pictou County Major Midgets may not have walked away with a title, but they certainly left with a ton of respect.
Truro's Michael Stuart was one of six Colchester County players who helped Pictou County to a 2-2 record on the weekend at the Atlantic major midget hockey championship in New Glasgow. Many didn't expect the performance from the team, which struggled early in the regular season and was bounced from the opening round of the Nova Scotia Major Midget Hockey League playoffs. Chris Cameron - The News
The club came within a goal of earning a berth in the gold-medal game during the weekend's Atlantic major midget hockey championship in New Glasgow, despite struggling to find their stride until the latter stages of the regular season.
"I'm happy," goaltender Luke Melanson, a 17-year-old Bible Hill resident, said. "Obviously going in we weren't the favourites but we showed we could compete and that we were as good or better than some of the teams there."
Truro's Noah Archibald, Matthieu Fougere, Lucas Rushton and Michael Stuart and Lucas Holman, of Bible Hill, are also members of the team.
Pictou County was eliminated on Saturday in a 3-1 loss to the Saint John Vitos. The setback came after Pictou County was nipped 2-1 by the eventual champion Halifax side in a Friday game which saw the winner go straight to the gold-medal contest. The results came after the team got off to a 2-0 start with a 3-1 win over Newfoundland's Central Ice Pak and a 4-3 come-from-behind triumph over the Kensington Wild (P.E.I.)
"Everything just came together," Melanson, five-foot-eight, 140-pounds, said. "The guys all bought into everything we had practiced in the six weeks we had off and everyone just played their game and knew their role."
The tournament was the first game-action the team had seen since it was eliminated in six games in the first round of the Nova Scotia Major Midget Hockey League playoffs by the Newbridge Academy Gladiators in mid-February.
Many expected the host club to be easy fodder for the visiting provincial champions from Nova Scotia, P.E.I., New Brunswick and Newfoundland. Pictou County started the regular season on a 2-18 run before finding its game and recovering to finish sixth among eight teams at 11-22-1-0.
"In the dressing room, we believed in ourselves and what we could do," Melanson said. "But nobody knew what to expect. We had a good run."
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