The 1977-1978 Central Kings Rural High School Boys Hockey team capped off what was a phenomenal year by winning the first provincial "B" hockey title in the twenty-six year history of the school. Early on in the team's season, no one could have predicted the effect that new coach Peter Goucher, and a total emphasis on creating a team, would have on this special group of young men.
The tone for the year was set during the very first practice. It was a well organized and disciplined practice which left many players, both new and old, feeling ill. The message was clear. If you wanted to play for Coach Goucher, and you wanted to be successful, you needed to give 100% effort and face the task or challenge at hand as a team.
In December the team enjoyed success in two local tournaments competing against mostly "A" teams. The team won the annual Dickie Moore Jr. Memorial Tournament with victories over K.C.A and Kings Regional Vocational School. The team also won the consolation championship of the Acadia University High School Tournament by defeating Bridgetown and Liverpool Regional High School.
In late January the team was entered in the Silver Stick Tournament held in Lunenburg. The team played very well and earned a spot in the championship game against Colonel Gray High School, the top "A" team from P.E.I. The team, given little chance, played extremely well and defeated Colonel Gray 3 - 2 on the strength of Captain Bobby MacPhail's hat trick and stellar goaltending by Darrell McDow. This tournament crown and particularly the win against Colonel Gray set the wheels in motion for an unbelievable ride to the Provincial "B" High School Hockey Crown.
The playoffs started with C.K. defeating local valley teams, Cornwallis District and Bridgetown Regional to qualify for the third round against Barrington Consolidated in a two-game total-goal series. The result of the first game played in Shelburne was so lopsided, the South Shore team refused to return to Berwick for the second game. The team then advanced to the Mainland Federation "B" Championship against Hants West, which Central Kings won by scores of 5 - 0 and 9 - 2 for a two-game total-goal series win 14 - 2.
The team advanced to the provincial finals versus Sydney Regional Vocational School, the Northumberland-Cape Breton series winners. The Central Kings "Green Machine" team was not to be denied. They soundly defeated Sydney 16 - 2 in a two-game total-goal series. The first game in the series was played on a Saturday in Sydney where the Central Kings team displayed superior skill in every aspect of the game, winning 11 - 0. Although the Sydney team was much bigger physically, they were no match for the determined Central Kings team. On Sunday the teams returned to Berwick where Central Kings won the championship on home ice by defeating Sydney 5 - 2.
The Provincial title capped an unbelievable twelve-game undefeated playoff streak. The teams' overall record for the year was 25 wins 8 losses and 2 ties. Their success was attributed to a group of unselfish, character players who understood their roles, played with great heart and enthusiasm, and who looked out for one another.
The 1977-78 Central Kings Rural High School Hockey Team is inducted into the Berwick Sports Hall of Fame in recognition of its outstanding season.
1977-78 Central Kings "Green Machine" Team Members
Peter Goucher (Coach), John Prall (Manager), Ivan Armstrong, Carmen Best, Wade Dunham, Ward Dunham, Mike Fredericks, John Graves, Pieter Jacobs, Tim Lamb, Bob MacPhail, Darrell McDow, Aaron Millett, Kevin Redden, Ken Rhodenizer, Randy Rockwell, Peter Sawler, Scott Thompson, Mike Turner, and Waldo Walsh
Inducted June 2006