Grand Falls – The St. Stephen Spartans varsity boys’ hockey team had a hard time shaking off some March Break rust heading into regionals in Grand Falls last weekend.

Last Friday the Spartans were shut out by the Tantramar Titans.

“With the weather last week limiting practice time and coming off March Break, we had a hard time getting started,” coach Don McCallum said.

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“It was easy to see that (Tantramar) was prepared and we struggled to get started.”

The following day, the Spartans met Polyvalente Thomas-Albert and were again shutout, this time by a score of 5-0.

“We lost to the host Thomas Albert but we were very competitive and seemed to have put the poor performance from Friday behind us. We still couldn’t get it done though.”

On Sunday, the Spartans fell 3-2 in a close game with the Carleton North Stars; a game McCallum said “could have easily gone our way.”

The Titans and the Stars have advanced to the provincial tournament, which is slated to take place in Sackville this weekend.

“All in all, we did struggle for the weekend, but we made a lot of gains from the start of the year to the end of the year,” McCallum said.

“This was a great group to be working with and we wish all of our seniors the best moving forward.”