2023 centennial cup mariners
© Yarmouth Mariners / Twitter

Road to the 2023 Centennial Cup: Yarmouth Mariners

The Mariners have successfully navigated their way to their first National Junior A Championship thanks to stellar goaltending and a historic playoff run

Nicholas Pescod
May 6, 2023

When the Yarmouth Mariners season began, they didn’t get off to the greatest start.

“Going into game nine we were 4-4. So, we made some changes and all the sudden things started rolling from there,” recalls head coach Laurie Barron.

One of the changes made early on included signing Joey Lovullo and making him their No. 1 goaltender, a move that would pay big dividends. The Mariners would lose just four times in their last 48 games and finish with a glittering record of 41-9-2-0 to capture first place in the Maritime Hockey League (MHL).

But Yarmouth’s winning ways didn’t stop there. The Mariners would go on an unprecedented 12-0 run in the playoffs, sweeping every team they faced to win the MetalFab MHL Cup — their first league championship since 2019 and third in franchise history — and punching their ticket to the Centennial Cup in the process.

“It sounds like we steamrolled them, but that’s not really the case. It started with Pictou County. Yes, we beat them in four, but Game 3 and Game 4 were absolute war,” says a modest Barron. “Truro played as tough as well and then Edmundston, every game was a battle. So yeah, things went extremely well.”

What went so well for Yarmouth? Well, pretty much everything. Offensively, the Mariners scored 58 goals and game up only 24 during their 12-game run. Nine Mariners had more than 10 points, including Reilly Mayne and Ryan Semple, who led the team with 18 points apiece. At the other end, Lovullo was outstanding, allowing just 18 goals over 10 games — Keegan Warren filled in for two games — which translated into a 1.80 goals-against average and .939 save percentage, earning him playoff MVP.

“Our goalie answered the bell, but every night there was a different person that showed up every night and answered the bell. I think too we are also built from the nets out and I thought our backend was the difference maker for us,” says Barron. “It's a bunch of guys from all over North America that came together and we kind of caught lightning in a bottle.”

The Mariners do in fact have a roster of guys from all over North America. Eight players, including Mayne and Kelly, hail from Newfoundland and Labrador. Lovullo calls New York home while Michael Marquez and Tyler Lee are from California. Others are from Quebec, Minnesota, Prince Edward Island and, of course, Nova Scotia. Barron says despite being from so many different places, the team was as close with one another as any team he’s ever coached in over two decades.

“I think this may be the best team I ever had as far as just being a family and caring about one another,” he says. “We have great leadership … and you can just tell how happy the group was. It's been a fun group to come to the rink with every day.”


Maritime Hockey League
Quarterfinal: defeated Pictou County 4-0 (6-0, 5-3, 5-3, 5-4 OT)
Semifinal: defeated Truro 4-0 (7-1, 5-0, 4-2, 5-2)
MHL championship: defeated Edmundston 4-0 (1-0, 7-5, 3-2, 5-1)


Record (W-L-OTL-SOL): 41-9-2-0 (1st in MHL)
Goals for: 230 (3rd in MHL)
Goals against: 132 (1st in MHL)
Power play: 50 for 204 (24.5% – 5th in MHL)
Penalty killing: 185 of 215 (86% – 7th in MHL)
Longest winning streak: 12 (Dec. 10-Feb. 2)
Top 3 scorers:
• Nathan Kelly – 23G 48A 71P (11th in MHL)
• Reilly Mayne – 29G 37A 66P (19th in MHL)
• Ryan Semple – 25G 39A 59P (22nd in MHL)


Record: 12-0
Goals for: 58
Goals against: 24
Power play: 11 for 38 (28.9%)
Penalty killing: 39 of 44 (88.6%)
Top 3 scorers:
• Reilly Mayne – 9G 9A 18P
• Ryan Semple – 7G 11A 18P
• Jerome Gilbert – 5G 10A 15P


First appearance


Ben Roode — Ontario Tech University (2023-24)


Sept. 26 – Not ranked
Oct. 9 – Not ranked
Oct. 16 – Not ranked
Oct. 24 – Not ranked
Oct. 31 – Not ranked
Nov. 7 – Not ranked
Nov. 14 – Not ranked
Nov. 21 – Not ranked
Nov. 28 – 20th
Dec. 5 – 19th
Dec. 12 – 17th
Dec. 19 – 17th
Jan. 9 – 15th
Jan. 16 – 15th
Jan. 23 – 9th
Jan. 30 – 11th
Feb. 6 – 11th
Feb. 13 – 8th
Feb. 20 – 12th
Feb. 27 – 12th
March 6 – 10th

For more information:

Esther Madziya
Manager, Communications
Hockey Canada

(403) 284-6484 


Spencer Sharkey
Manager, Communications
Hockey Canada

(403) 777-4567


Jeremy Knight
Manager, Corporate Communications
Hockey Canada

(647) 251-9738


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