Saint Andrews teen earns provincial Bantam AAA hockey scoring title

SAINT ANDREWS – Gabe Smith of Saint Andrews, a Grade 9 student at Rothesay Netherwood High School, has been in love with the game of hockey since he was a toddler, and has played since he was big enough to strap on a pair of skates. This year, his hard work and dedication to his sport paid off, and he was honoured with the New Brunswick U15 AAA Hockey League high scoring title for scoring the most points in the province.

“I won the New Brunswick scoring title through the Bantam AAA hockey league,” said Smith. “I got the most points in the province, 31 in 14 games. That’s averaging two points a game. That’s decent. That’s pretty good.”

Smith said he started playing hockey when he was about four years old. Every winter, his father would build him a backyard rink behind the family home, and this is where he learned how to play his favourite sport.

“That’s how I learned to play hockey. He taught me the basics,” said Smith.

Smith, who plays for the KV Kings, said this is his second year with the team. In the past, he has played centre, but with the Kings he plays right wing. He explained that this position is much like being a forward, and he is an “attacking player on the right side of the ice”.

Each year after the end of the hockey season, there is an awards banquet, but Smith isn’t sure if that will take place this year due to COVID-19 restrictions. None the less, there will be awards given to many players. Smith isn’t sure if there is an actual award for the scoring title, but he is hoping that he will receive the honour of MVP of the Week, which there is an award for.

“I’m not 100 per cent sure I will, but I’m hoping I will,” said Smith.

When asked if he has any words of wisdom for other kids who are interested in getting into the sport of hockey, Smith said they need to have a lot of commitment if they want to reach the top level, but it is definitely worth the time and effort.

“There’s nothing that I enjoy more than playing hockey.”

Over the weekend, Smith and his team played in the New Brunswick playoffs against the Moncton Hawks. The KV Kings’ first game of the playoffs was played on Friday, with the visiting Kings beating the Moncton Hawks with a score of three to one. The first goal was scored by Travis Lindsay in the second period, and Smith and Owen Searle scored two goals in the third period.

On Saturday, April 3 the Kings played Game 13 of the playoffs, with Moncton scoring one goal in each of the first two periods. The KV Kings scored two goals in the third period, and the winning goal was scored by the Kings in overtime. One of those third period goals was scored by Smith.