Blyth Brussels Novice Rep Crusaders win WOAA gold - April 5, 2018
BY SHAWN LOUGHLIN
Last week, the Blyth Brussels Novice Rep Crusaders topped off a back-and-forth series with the Minto Mad Dogs with a 4-3 victory en route to the Western Ontario Athletic Association (WOAA) crown.
The locals hosted what would be their final game of the season on March 28 at 6 p.m., welcoming Minto to the Blyth and District Community Centre. The game made for a dramatic affair, but, in the end, it was Blyth Brussels that won the game by a score of 4-3, claiming the series.
This came after Blyth Brussels won the first two games – the first in Blyth by a score of 6-3, then by a score of 2-1 in Palmerston – but lost the third in Palmerston 5-2. However, Blyth Brussels pulled out the victory in the fourth game of the series.
Head Coach Mike Ansley said he felt great after his team won the series. The final outcome of the series was always in question, he said, but that wasn’t unlike the season his team had.
The team had its ups and downs over the course of the season, at one point losing seven games straight, but Ansley said that the team’s regular season record is a bit deceiving.
So many of the team’s games, he said, were decided by one goal, whether it was a win or a loss. So many of the team’s losses, he said, could have easily been wins.
“They really were a good group of kids,” Ansley said.
Ansley said that Blyth Brussels had met the Minto team several times over the course of the season and the games were always competitive.
This is the second year that Ansley has coached the team, which includes his son Rodney. He says the experience of coaching his son has been thrilling and a great way to connect.
The Crusaders began their quest for the trophy by defeating the Novice Rep team from Arran-Elderslie in three games. They won the first game by a score of 8-0, but lost the second 5-3. They closed out the series with a 5-4 win in Blyth to move onto the second round.
In the second round they played Shallow Lake, beating them swiftly in two games by scores of 5-4 and 5-2.
Once the team won the trophy, each member took a chance to skate around the ice with the trophy before taking a team picture in front of their home bench.
The Blyth Brussels Minor Hockey Association’s year-end banquet was set to take place on Tuesday night. For more information, visit blythbrusselsminorhockey.ca.