New-look Halifax Mariners seeking regional hockey gold
By Trident Staff
Halifax is set to host this year’s Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) Atlantic Region Men’s Hockey Championship, and after a disappointing finish last year, the CFB Halifax Mariners are hoping to turn things around with a roster of both new faces and veterans.
Petty Officer 1st Class (PO1) Curtis Chambers, a veteran of many CAF regional and national tournaments himself in hockey and ball hockey, is coach for the Mariners men’s team. In addition to eight new players who bring youth and skill, PO1 Chambers said the team’s leadership core of Sailors 1st Class Anton and Triston Manson bring the big-game experience needed to win. He added the team has had ice time twice a week leading up to the tournament, allowing new members to integrate into the group.
The tournament is taking place at Dartmouth’s RBC Centre, which features larger ice surfaces than the Shearwater Arena, which typically hosts CAF regional hockey.
“We feel that playing on the larger ice will be a challenge for all the teams participating, but with the amount of speed and skill that are on all of the teams, they will quickly adapt,” PO1 Chamber said.
“We’re also excited to have the opportunity to play at the RBC Centre so that our family and friends can come and watch, as well as to demonstrate the talent and skill level of the CAF hockey program to our civilian neighbours.”
The teams (Halifax, Shearwater, Greenwood and Gagetown) will gather on January 22 for practices and a meet-and-greet, before the action gets underway proper on January 23, with an opening ceremony set for 8:30 a.m. to be followed by the first game at 9 a.m. Semi-finals are set for the afternoon of January 25, with the championship game the following morning.
All are invited to watch and cheer on their colleagues through the week at the RBC Centre, located at 259 Commodore Dr. in Dartmouth.
PO1 Chambers said if his team can match their skill level with a strong work ethic through the week, they’ll have a shot at bringing CFB Halifax back to the men’s national tournament, set for March in Shilo, Manitoba.
“It has been a few years since a Halifax team has won the Atlantic Region, so our players are hungry for the opportunity.”