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Provincial ball hockey championships kick off in Corner Brook on Friday

Newfoundland and Labrador Ball Hockey Championships
Newfoundland and Labrador Ball Hockey Championships

It feels like a natural progression for Robbie Greene and the rest of Team Corner Brook at this year’s Newfoundland and Labrador Ball Hockey Championships.

The majority of the squad that will take part in the Tier 1 division of this year’s tournament, which begins Friday at the Corner Brook Civic Centre, were key cogs in a Tier 2 title victory last year in St. John’s.

“The jump from Tier 2 to Tier 1 is a big one,” said Greene in an interview conducted over email.

“The Tier 1 division is full of world class ball hockey players who have been doing this a long time.”

With that in mind, Greene said he’d be happy just to make it to the semifinal round on Sunday.

But, of course, the lure of defying the odds and accomplishing something great exists — especially when playing at home.

“Playing at home is always exciting,” the centreman acknowledged.

He said every player on the team will have people in the stands cheering them on. They will also all enjoy the luxury of staying in their own bed at night instead of a hotel, which he said “really helps you wind down from a day of ball hockey.”

The 28-year-old Greene is a native of Halfway Point and currently serves as captain of the Wing n’ It Empire Atlantic Jets in the Corner Brook Molson Men’s Ball Hockey League. It’s his 11th season in the league and this will be his second provincial championship.

In July, he will be competing in the men’s C national championship in St. John’s.

But first, the matter at hand.

He expects Carol Lake Metal of Labrador City to be the toughest team to topple. They played in Germany last year and represented Canada at the World Championships.

Greene, along with Scott Wayson and Jeremy Pye, have been running the local ball hockey setup for the past five years. The trio placed the bid to host the provincials, which haven’t been in Corner Brook in almost a decade, last year and were awarded the event in November 2016.

In all, there will be 14 teams — six in Tier 1 and eight in Tier 2 — which Greene says will amount to over 220 players, not to mention family and friends travelling with the teams, hitting the city this weekend.

For a full weekend schedule, see Scoreboard on page 12 of Thursday's Western Star.

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