1993-1994 Central Kings Gators High School Hockey Team
The 1993-94 Central Kings Gators hockey season started and ended with a bang. The Gators were a team with a mission, starting the 1993-94 campaign by outscoring their opponents 17-5 in the first two games. This Gators team could skate and score, and they terrorized the Valley High School Hockey League finishing second in league play. Their only regular season loss was to the eventual AAA provincial champions Kings-Edgehill.
In December the Gators attended the Can-Am International Tournament in Lake Placid, New York. Traveling twenty-two hours by school bus, the Gators fared well against strong opposition, losing the bronze medal game to a great team from Oakville, Ontario. The tournament proved to be a bonding moment for the team, propelling the Gators through the second half of the season.
The Gators came into the AA playoffs on a high, promptly dispatching the team from Digby Regional High in two straight games, by scores of 14-1 and 8-3. This set up a much anticipated match up between long time rival KCA for regional bragging rights. The series lived up to the hype, with Central Kings winning a game 1 slugfest by a 12-8 score in Berwick. The series shifted back to Kentville for Game 2, which saw the KCA squad shock the Gators 5-4 and even the series at one game apiece. Game 3 turned out to be another barnburner, with both teams trading chances. Ultimately, the Gators avenged their Game 2 loss, 11-6, to win the Western Region title.
The stage was set for the Provincial AA Championships to be held in Berwick. Four teams would compete: Central Kings, KCA, East Pictou, and Isle Madame. The road to the championship would go through Isle Madame, the previous season's finalist. Central Kings dusted the Cape Breton champions 8-3 in the semi-finals, with Colin Kendall taking the Game MVP with two goals and three assists.
This win set up the championship game against two time defending provincial champion East Pictou. In the final game, two stars shone brightly. During a season that saw a different hero for CK almost every night, Chris Salsman and Jamie Spinney rose to the challenge. Salsman scored three times to pace the Gators, including the game winner late in the third for a 7-5 victory. Spinney was phenomenal in goal, stopping 39 shots, including 17 in the last period of play. It was a game for the ages, nearly raising the roof off the old ice palace in Berwick.
In a season of stars, the Gators had put it all together for high school hockey's ultimate prize. It was a retirement present for Gator coach John Prall, who went out a winner. In his last season behind the Gators' bench, Prall watched as his team steamrolled the opposition en route to the AA Provincial title. It was a season never to be forgotten. The Berwick Sports Hall of Fame is proud to induct the 1993-94 Central Kings Gators hockey team.
Coach: John Prall
Asst. Coach: Ian Collins
Asst. Coach: Sib Pye
Trainor: Gary Galley
Manager: Frank Woodworth
Statistician: Justin Halbersma
Inducted June 2009