TYNE VALLEY – A little over three weeks ago, the West Prince Senior Hockey League was still hopeful of having four teams for its second season. Now they’re up to five.
League president Ghislain Bernard said Tyne Valley has been welcomed into the fold this year, and will join returnees Wellington Flyers, O’Leary Maroons, Alberton Regals and Tignish Aces. This will give all rinks from Abram-Village west some senior hockey action.
It was Tyne Valley that spearheaded the drive in the spring of 2016 to get a senior league re-established in West Prince. However, Tyne Valley was unable to ice a team for the first season.
The new Tyne Valley Farm Boys will host Tignish in the league opener on Friday, Dec. 29.
As was the case last year, all teams will play an eight-game regular season.
“Everybody will play each other once at home and away,” Bernard said.
Bernard indicated the intent is to avoid game overlap as much as possible, so that fans can attend every WPSHL regular-season and playoff game, if they choose.
Only the top four teams will advance to the post season. Both the semifinals and the final will be best-of-five series. The goal, said Bernard, is to wrap it up before March Break.
“They’re just looking to play, and then go on a family vacation,” he said.
Bernard said roughly 95 per cent of the players are from West Prince. A few exceptions were made for Tyne Valley and Wellington, but even those players have a connection to the community where they will play.
“We think we’re doing a good job of that,” he said. “People want to see parity, and they want to see guys that they know.
“The intention is to give fellas a place to play, and maybe bring a little bit of business into the rinks.”