The Moncton Rallye Motors Nissan Flyers won the Canadian U18 National Championship TELUS cup on Sunday, after playing the entire tournament without a loss.
The Flyers, playing in Alberta, beat the Magog Cantonniers 5-4 in overtime.
They’re one of six teams in the hockey league that has teams from New Brunswick and PEI
For league president Barry Thompson, the win has meaning for all of Atlantic Canada.
“I think it shows to probably the rest of the country, to be quite honest with you, that teams here in Atlantic Canada are developing very well,” Thompson said.
The Flyers are the first New Brunswick team to win the U18 national title, and the second in Atlantic Canada after the Cape Breton West Islanders, who won the TELUS cup in 2017.
Thompson called their performance surgical.
“They worked through their game plan, they stick to their game plan, and it doesn’t seem to rattle them too much, at least to us who are watching the game, and they’re able to get the job done,” he said.
Jack Martin, from Upper Coverdale, NB, scored the winning goal 40 seconds into overtime.
Other players who scored for the Flyers in the final were Philippe Collette from Saint-Antoine and Moncton’s Marco Martin, Luke Patterson and Zachary Wheeler.
Goaltender Samuel LeBlanc of Memramcook stopped 38 shots.
“It’s so exciting. I think it’s great for the flyers, great for the New Brunswick teams, great for the whole region for everybody to see that going on,” Thompson said.
‘It means a lot to have all of Atlantic Canada cheering you on’
Thompson said years of development, including about 14 years of dedication from Coach John DeCourcey, led to the win.
“It’s everything from the ground up,” he said.
“They [the coaches] do an incredible job with those players and get them to buy into a program, get them to buy into the plan, and do a great job developing along the way.”
He said the team’s reaction was unbelievable, adding Atlantic Canada had jumped on the wagon with them and was following along.
“When you’re all the way out in Calgary, it means a lot to have all of Atlantic Canada cheering you on,” Thompson said.
A lot of the team’s players have been drafted to play major junior hockey, Thompson said, adding some might be going into private school or the United States college system.
He added Moncton will have a great core of returning players as well.
“There’s a lot of good future here for all of these players,” he said.