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Six high school teams to play for Cook's Cup this week in Yarmouth

Par-en-Bas Shark Dominic Surette and Yarmouth Viking Brad Jones competing in a previous Cook’s Cup. Both are captains of their respective teams this year and both will be graduating from high school in June.
Par-en-Bas Shark Dominic Surette and Yarmouth Viking Brad Jones competing in a previous Cook’s Cup. Both are captains of their respective teams this year and both will be graduating from high school in June.

YARMOUTH, N.S. – Two high school rivals on the ice are teaming up off the ice to hold one last weekend of high school hockey this school year.

A six-team Cook’s Cup will be held at the Mariners Centre March 24-26.

The tournament is being co-hosted by the Yarmouth Vikings and the Par-en-Bas Sharks who, like all high school hockey teams in the province, have had an unusual season.

Since early January both teams have been playing minor hockey in the Hockey Nova Scotia Midget X Winter League – the Sharks as the Midget X Oceanic and the Vikings as the Midget X Spitfires.

The Midget X minor hockey league was formed to give sidelined high school-aged hockey players the chance to play hockey over the winter after the NSTU work-to-rule resulted in the Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation (NSSAF) suspending all school sports from early December until late February.

While very grateful for the chance to play Midget X, players have still yearned for the chance to wear their school jerseys at least once more following the abrupt end to the season that had started in September.

A six-team Cook’s Cup will be held at the Mariners Centre March 24-26.

The tournament is being co-hosted by the Yarmouth Vikings and the Par-en-Bas Sharks who, like all high school hockey teams in the province, have had an unusual season.

Since early January both teams have been playing minor hockey in the Hockey Nova Scotia Midget X Winter League – the Sharks as the Midget X Oceanic and the Vikings as the Midget X Spitfires.

The Midget X minor hockey league was formed to give sidelined high school-aged hockey players the chance to play hockey over the winter after the NSTU work-to-rule resulted in the Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation (NSSAF) suspending all school sports from early December until late February.

While very grateful for the chance to play Midget X, players have still yearned for the chance to wear their school jerseys at least once more following the abrupt end to the season that had started in September.

The Yarmouth Vikings were to have hosted an 11-team Cook’s Cup in December, but it was the same week that work to rule began and school athletics were suspended.

The Par-en-Bas Sharks, meanwhile, had been selected to host NSSAF Division 3 provincials March 24-26. But in late February NSSAF cancelled all regional and provincial championships for school six winter sports, including hockey.

Since the Sharks still had the ice, the team decided to host a high school tournament. And since the Vikings didn’t get to hand out the Cook’s Cup this year, the two teams decided to partner for this tournament and the one that will happen in the next school year.

“We are happy to share the opportunity to host with Yarmouth,” says Par-en-Bas head coach Julien Boudreau, who notes it was disappointing not to get to host provincials. “We hope the Sharks and Vikings fans of Yarmouth are hungry and excited to see some high school hockey again.”

Also competing in the tournament are Digby, Barrington, West Kings and Central Kings.

Last year the YCMHS Vikings saw nine of their players graduate. This year it is Par-en-Bas that loses a lot of Grade 12 players, with seven slated to graduate.

“I think it’s a good idea to co-host the Cook’s Cup this year with Yarmouth,” says Grade 12 Sharks player Riley Boudreau. “Being a graduating student, I am excited to play in one more tournament at home.”

The tournament, as always, is organized and run by the host parents and coaches. In addition to tournament admission to help cover expenses, chowder will be sold as a fundraiser on Friday and Saturday for $5 a bowl.

Tournament admission:

For adults: Tournament pass: $15. Day pass: $10. Single game: $5

For students: Tournament pass: $10. Day pass: $5. Single game: $3.

 

TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE

FRIDAY, MARCH 24:

• 11-12:30 Central Kings vs Barrington

• 12:30-2 p.m. PEB vs Digby

• 2-3:30 p.m. Yarmouth vs Central Kings

• 3:30-5 pm Barrington vs West Kings

Opening ceremonies: 5:30-6 p.m.

• 6-7:30 p.m. PEB vs Yarmouth

• 7:30-9 p.m. West Kings vs Digby

SATURDAY, MARCH 25:

• 9-10:30 a.m. Barrington vs PEB

• 10:30-12 West Kings vs Yarmouth

• 12-1:30 p.m. Digby vs Central Kings

• 3:30-5 p.m. 6th in points vs 3rd in points (game 10)

• 5-6:30 p.m. 5th in points vs 4th in points (game 11)

SUNDAY, MARCH 26:

• 1-2:30 p.m Arena 1 Winner Game 10 vs 1st in points

• 1-2:30 p.m. Arena 2 Winner game 11 vs 2nd in points

• Championship game 4:30 p.m.

 

 

SCHOOL PRIDE

“The YCMHS boys hockey team is very excited to be able to play for the Cook’s Cup this season. To be able to put on their school colours once again and play with Vikings pride,” says head coach Craig Minard.

“The Vikings are in a rebuilding year with a young roster that only includes two Grade 12 students. We started the year slowly but have developed and I am very proud of the guys for working hard and playing their season with a lot of heart. Right now we are playing the best hockey we have this season and I am looking forward to making a run for the Cook’s Cup trophy and finishing off the season strong.”

Both Minard and Boudreau say it has been a difficult season, with many ups and downs due to the suspension of school sports.

“I cannot say enough to express our thanks to Hockey Nova Scotia, Yarmouth County Minor Hockey Association and their president, Ian White, who really stepped up to help these young men play hockey this year,” Minard says.

Still, there is something to be said for playing for one’s school.

“It means a lot to be able to represent our school one last time and wear the Vikings jerseys,” says Vikings captain and Grade 12 student Brad Jones. “It's a great way to end the season and to end high school hockey for the graduating students.”

A player from Sir John A hoists the Cook’s Cup during a previous tournament win.

 

ABOUT THE COOK'S CUP TROPHY

The Cook’s Cup trophy was donated to Yarmouth Consolidated Memorial High School by the Cook family of Yarmouth that owned and operated the former Cook’s Dairy.

The trophy is a stainless steel old-fashioned milk jug that comes from Pennsylvania, where this specific milk jug (and others like it) was hand-made by members of the Amish community.

The names of all players and coaches of the winning team are engraved and placed on the Cook’s Cup in a sort-of Stanley Cup fashion. “Most people will never get the opportunity to raise the Stanley Cup over their head,” says Don Cook. “We thought every kid that wins this is going to have the chance to lift this.”

This tournament will mark the tenth time the Cook’s Cup is hoisted in victory. It was handed out previously in annual tournaments from 2007 to 2015.

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