LANTZ: Ryan Huestis stood tall in goal and Jesse Hamer potted a hat trick as the East Hants Junior Penguins put a stamp on the regular season, blanking Sackville 7-0 and with it capturing the NSJHL regular season title.
East Hants won the title with 54 points, two ahead of Glace Bay who had their contest with Sackville scheduled for Feb. 11 cancelled. Even if it was played, and the Miners won, the Pens would have won the regular season championship.
Mark Vokey had a goal and three assists; Quinn MacDonald added two more tallies for his team leading 32 goals. Meanwhile, Kirk Baylis had a single tally.
Captain Alex Anthony, a Shubenacadie product, and Kyle Randall each contributed two assists apiece. Single helpers were credited to: Hammer; Lucio Williams; Jacob Roberts; Matt Peruzza; and Ryan MacNeil.
Huestis, a Wellington product, turned away all 24 shots he faced between the pipes for win 15 in 25 games played for the Pens.
The Penguins finished first in the Fred Fox Division going 26 – 6 – 2 during the 34-game regular season. The team had quite a few individual accomplishments. Among them included: Quinn MacDonald, the league leader in goals and points with 72; tied for assists with Matt Peruzza. Adam Peruzza was the top rookie in the league with 62 points in 32 games played.
Anthony recorded the most points by a defenceman, being credited with 46 points from 11 goals and 35 assists. Meanwhile, Huestis had the most minutes played in the season with 1,508 minutes on the ice in the net.
East Hants will look to hold onto this strong effort they have put forth all season long and make a big effort to bring home a championship to Lantz.
The Pens will now prepare to meet Hants County rival the Valley Maple Leafs in their first round, best-of-seven playoff series. The schedule has not yet been announced.