Gonzaga Vikings and Holy Heart Highlanders open best-of-five series tonight
They have a passion for hockey, and a passionate dislike for each other and this afternoon at Jack Byrne Arena in Torbay, a new chapter in the storied high school rivalry between the Holy Heart Highlanders and the Gonzaga Vikings will soon be written as the 2014 St. John’s high school hockey city finals get underway.
Weather permitting, game time is 4:30 p.m.
The Highlanders are coming off a fantastic season, capturing first place in both the Oktoberfest and the Grand Falls-Windsor Donnini’s tournaments. The Vikings meanwhile, had a fantastic run at the 2014 Confederation Cup, but lost to the O’Donel Patriots in the championship game.
In the teams’ four meetings this season the Highlanders won twice (5-4 and 3-2), the Vikings collected a victory in February (3-1) and the schools tied 1-1 in their final meeting on Mar. 11th.
Highlanders coach Bill Maher is expecting the same caliber of hockey in the city finals.
“The finals against Gonzaga will be a great series and I expect every game to be fast and intense” Maher said. “It should be fun for everyone involved and great hockey to watch.”
Highlanders captain Grant Nolan agreed.
“It will be a very intense series and the chances are it will go the distance” Nolan insisted. “Two very skilled teams with everything on the line.”
Heart’s Brett Vokey added, “It’s all on the line, it should be a competitive series and I think we’ve proved throughout the year that we’re capable of playing with anyone in the league.”
Holy Heart advanced to the final by knocking off the Holy Trinity Tigers in two games in a best-of-three semifinal. The Vikes, meanwhile, are coming off their own 2-0 semifinal sweep against the Booth Memorial Braves.
“(The) City finals are important to us, especially us third years as we would like to win our final and third city championship.” Gonzaga captain Patrick Nicolle said. “It’s going to be a good series against a team that we know very well.”