There will still be plenty of exceptional high school hockey being played in Windsor at the 21st Annual Birthplace of Hockey Tournament despite two teams bowing out of the competition.
Last year’s winner, the Northumberland Nighthawks from Pictou County, and the tournament’s runner-up, the J.L. Ilsley Judges from Halifax, both will not be participating this year.
However, the mighty Bishop's College, from Quebec, will be. The team finished 3-0 in the round-robin portion of their schedule in last year's tournament. They will be back under the guidance of head coach and former Montreal Canadian Stephan LeBeau.
Kings-Edgehill School has improved this season, as they are a faster skating club with improved goaltending. This showed recently in their 4-1 win over the Avon View Avalanche.
KES went 2-1 in last year's round robin but lost in the semi-finals of the tournament.
Last year, AVHS were just getting started for the season, going 0-2-1 and not making it to the playoff round. The Avalanche improved immensely following the Birthplace of Hockey Tournament and advanced to the Provincial Division 1 High School Hockey Championships in late March in Kentville.
The other teams participating this weekend will be from Riverview, New Brunswick, and Sackville, Nova Scotia.
King’s-Edgehill will be gunning for their 8th tournament victory in the 21 years they have hosted the tournament while Avon View will be looking for their second. They last won in 2005.
This year's tournament will not see two semi-final playoff games to decide who will play in the championship like last year. Instead, it will be a straight round robin tournament with the two teams having the best record when play concludes Saturday evening advancing to Sunday afternoon's championship game.
Birthplace of Hockey Tournament schedule:
Thursday, Nov. 15
Avon View vs. Sackville High — 5:15 p.m.
King’s-Edgehill vs. Bishop's College — 7 p.m.
Friday, Nov. 16
Sackville vs. KES — 11:15 a.m.
Riverview vs. Bishop's College — 1 p.m.
Riverview vs. Sackville — 5:15 p.m.
AVHS vs. KES — 7 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 17
AVHS vs. Riverview — 10:35 a.m.
Bishop's College vs. Sackville — 12:30 p.m.
Riverview vs. KES — 4 p.m.
Bishop's College vs. AVHS — 6 p.m.
Sunday, Nov. 18
Championship game — 1 p.m.