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Newfoundland's Osprey, Kings and Blizzard winners on Monctonian's opening day

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Growlers, Impact can't hold on to leads in first-day play

Newfoundland and Labrador major midget teams went three-for-five on Thursday, the opening day of the Monctonian Challenge showcase hockey tournament in southeastern New Brunswick.

The winners included the Tri Pen Osprey, who came away with a 1-0 win over the Cape Breton West Islanders, with Sheamus Best scoring in the last minute of the third period and Riley Mercer posting the shutout.

There was another one-goal win by a Newfoundland team. That was the defending provincial league champion Western Kings, who edged P.E.I.’s Charlottetown Bulk Carrier Knights 2-1 on goals by Benjamin Smith and Nathan King.

The other N.L. winners were the metro-based East Coast Blizzard, who got by Quebec’s  Seminaire St-Joseph Vert et Or 3-1. Jordan Winter scored twice for the Blizzard, who got a single tally from Nicholas Moore.

Drew Locke had two assists for the winners.

The other team from the metro St. John’s area, the league-leading Pinnacle Growlers, led 3-1 late in the second period, but gave up four unanswered goals in a 5-3 loss to College Claretain Graal of Victoriaville, Que.

Provincial league leading scorer Tanner Humber-Dredge, Stephen Veitch and Andrew Ryder had the goals for the Growlers.

In the final game of opening day, the Central Impact led 2-1 entering the second period, but eventually lost 8-2 to Nova Scotia’s Steele Subaru.

All five Newfoundland teams are back on the ice today to play their second preliminary-round games.

The 28 major midget teams, which are divided into seven four-team sections, play three preliminary games as they look for a position to put them in the round of 16 that opens the playoff portion of the tourney.

To accommodate a schedule of 42 preliminary contests over three days, these opening-round are 45 minutes long, with three 15-minute periods.

Another reason for the abbreviated games is because the Monctonian, which is played at the four-pad Supreme Propane Centre, Kay Arena and Moncton Coliseum, also involves minor midget and bantam divisions.

The Pennecon Eastern Flyers, Newfoundland’s lone entry in the minor midget competition, lost its 2-1 in its opener against the Chirocare Kings of suburban Halifax.

Dylan Winter had the Flyers’ goal.

There are no teams from this province in the bantam division.

sports@thetelegram.com

Twitter: @telysports

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