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Spartans on winning streak at critical time - Jan. 09, 2014


Brian Mumford/Courier
Hannah Gauley breaks into the zone Wednesday night during the Spartans 3-1 win over Harbour View High School. The Spartans have had lots of success recently, and are looking for more as they face a busy couple of weeks.

Brian Mumford
St. Stephen
The holiday break provided a chance for a less intense schedule for most varsity athletes. The lady Spartans hockey team were a little busier, and are going to be very busy as the exam break approaches.
Over the Christmas break, St. Stephen High School’s varsity girls hockey team entered the Bobby Vale Holiday Classic, a tournament hosted by Woodstock High School. They battled through the round robin, earning a 4-4 tie against Polyvalente Thomas Albert, a 6-0 win over Hartland, and losing to Woodstock 1-0 in the round robin portion of competition.
In the final, St. Stephen faced the host team again, and avenge their loss earlier in the tournament. It took overtime to do it though, and the lady Spartans captured the tournament banner for a 1-0 win.
Then came the start of school this week, and the start of a rather intense two weeks of hockey. It all began on Tuesday night, when the Spartans travelled to Grand Bay to face Harbour View High School, and defeated them soundly 7-2.
In the return engagement of a home-and-home series, Harbour View came to Border Area Community Arena Wednesday.
Spartans goaltender Tessa Bartlett could tell from the outset the Vikings wanted to win.
“They obviously came out looking for revenge. We kind of had a slow first and second period and then realized we needed to not underestimate them in the third.”
Despite the slow start Bartlett mentioned (which was also head coach Bob Coates’s assessment of the game), the Spartans managed to build a lead.
Raeleen Brown opened the scoring for the Spartans in the opening period in the first period, followed by a Leanne Dow rebound goal in the second.
The teams traded goals in the third period, and the Spartans emerged with a 3-1 win.
Although the Spartans were, in effect, in control of the game for its duration, Coates doesn’t judge his team by the margin on the scoreboard.
“It’s not about the score on the board. It’s where we get, again, with our system development and the confidence that we play with as a team.
“In the first two periods we were running around more than we needed to. We weren’t executing, and it was starting right in our own zone.”
That’s not to say the Spartans aren’t making progress, Coates added, but just that he expects steady progression and optimal play for three periods.
“We are making significant headway as we go. It’s just a matter of getting that consistency.”
Consistency will go a long way throughout this week and the next. The Spartans had to turn around and host Carleton North Thursday, the score of which wasn’t available at press time. Today (Friday) they travel to Hartland for an AA league game.
Next week, the Spartans have two games, including a home contest against Woodstock on Thursday starting at 7:10 p.m. With such a busy schedule coming up, Bartlett said the consistency Coates preaches will be even more imperative.
“These next games are league games, they’re really important if we want to get to provincials. We’ve just got to get some rest and eat right.”

Spartans top Vikings on the road
The St. Stephen High School varsity boys hockey team was able to get the best of Harbour View High School on Wednesday night.
Travelling to Grand Bay to face the Vikings, the Spartans headed back to St. Stephen with a 5-4 win. Devon Lord notched the winning tally for the Spartans.
The Spartans next home game is Wednesday night, when the Vikings will come to St. Stephen. That game begins at 7:30 p.m.