Special to The Standard
NORTH DURHAM: It was the end of an era on Friday, March 17th at Scugog Arena, when the Port Perry Predators downed the Uxbridge Stars 3-0, to claim the Lakeshore League championship. The game was the last-ever meeting between the two teams, due to the amalgamation between the two local associations just around the corner. The team is now known as the North Durham Warriors, starting with the upcoming tryout campaign.
The Predators’ win gave Port Perry a three-game sweep, over their longtime nemesis from across Lakeridge Rd. Over the course of the series, the Predators displayed remarkable defensive coverage, not allowing a goal against, over course of the series.
Following the game, the two teams posed for a photograph together, showcasing the end of one era, and the beginning of another.
The historical significance was not lost on Port Perry captain Mitch Carter, who explained to The Standard that the Lakeshore League title was a great achievement for their team, following a disappointing run in the OMHA playdowns.
“We had a rough end to our OMHA series, so this was a happy ending to finish on top. It meant a lot to all of us, because we’re the last Port Perry team to win a championship. This is definitely a highlight of my hockey career,” an elated Carter told The Standard.
For coach Trevor Robins, the championship was the culmination of two seasons of hard work, and transformation for an age group that won just two regular season games in their Minor Atom season. As the coach added, it wasn’t until Port Perry’s 2-0 win in Game 2 of the championship series, that the team had ever won a game in Uxbridge.
“I’m especially proud that we never gave up, and our team set their goal to win this championship, when we could’ve just hung our heads after being eliminated from the All-Ontarios. They’ve improved tremendously over the past two years, and that’s still continuing week-to-week,” Coach Robins said.
Having been involved with Port Perry Minor Hockey as a player and coach for more than 25 years, Coach Robins also expressed his gratitude to be a part of history, in the final ‘Battle of North Durham’ playoff series.
“It meant a lot to all of us to be playing in the last-ever series between the two towns. This is something that everyone involved, the players and the coaches, will remember for a very long time, and I couldn’t be prouder of how our team has progressed on the ice and how well we’ve represented Port Perry.”