Riverview’s Gahan Rector takes high school hockey league scoring title lead into Red Cup
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COXHEATH — Gahan Rector has had a memorable year for the Riverview Ravens this season.
The Class 11 forward recently ended his second season in the Cape Breton High School Hockey League by winning the league’s scoring title with 15 goals and 28 points in 16 games.
His offensive performance shouldn’t come as a surprise to those who follow the league closely. Rector finished the 2021–22 season fourth in the league with nine goals and 20 points in 16 competitions.
Rector admits he didn’t watch the points race very often during the season. In fact, points don’t necessarily come to mind when he’s on the ice and in the middle of a game.
“I wasn’t really focused on points, my main goal this season was to give 100 percent consistently and help my team win games,” said Rector.
“I knew that if I gave 100 percent, I would get the points. I’d rather have a game where I gave 100 per cent and maybe only had one point than a game where I scored four goals and maybe didn’t work hard enough.”
Before joining the Ravens program last season, Rector played seven games with the Cape Breton Jets of the Nova Scotia U16 ‘AAA’ Hockey League after being named to the Cape Breton U18 Hockey League by the Cape Breton County Islanders in 2020 .
Although he represented his school in 2021-22, this year will be his first opportunity to compete in the Red Cup Showcase, a high school hockey tournament hosted by Riverview.
The Ravens open the tournament on Thursday when they took on the Sydney Academy Wildcats at the Cape Breton County Recreation Center in Coxheath.
In another country
Rector, like many players, started his hockey career at a young age. However, he did not always play the game in Canada.
The 17-year-old forward was born in South Korea and began his sporting career there.
“We really didn’t have any games,” Rector said of his time in South Korea. “We practiced twice a week and maybe played a tournament every month, but there really weren’t any games for us there.”
Rector continued his career when his family moved to Cape Breton in 2013. His father was born in Prince Edward Island but moved to Cape Breton at a young age while his mother is originally from South Korea.
“When we got here, I knew I wanted to keep playing,” Rector said, noting that he played most of his career with the Cape Breton County Minor Hockey Association.
“We knew the sport was more popular in Canada and that was one of the reasons I wanted to stay in the sport, but also because I just enjoyed playing the game and being part of a team.”
In addition to his individual success this season, the Ravens program also had a quality 2022-23 season. The team won both the Mae Kibyuk Memorial Green and Gold tournament in November and last month’s Blue and White Contractor Cup.
The Ravens won the Cape Breton League regular season championship with a 14-1-0-0 record.
“If we work really hard, we can get to the top of our game and that’s what we’ve done in these tournaments,” said Rector. “It comes down to hard work and that’s all we really need. Our talent will show after hard work.”
Not only has Rector led the team offensively, he believes he can lead the team’s younger players on and off the ice, especially at this year’s Red Cup.
“I’m trying to get the younger players used to the league,” said Rector. “When you’re younger you’re nervous when you play in the league, but sometimes you have to give them advice, like what to do.
Riverview will continue their quest for the Red Cup Showcase title on Friday when they host the tournament’s defending champions, the Northumberland Nighthawks of Alma, NS
In contrast to previous years, the Friday game will be played at 1 p.m. instead of the usual 8 p.m. Riverview High School has considered the competition its “mind game” and will allow students to enter.
The Ravens will wrap up the preliminary round of the tournament on Saturday when they take on the Island View Devils from the Eastern Passage at 1:00 p.m
The semi-finals are scheduled for Saturday at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. respectively, while the league game will be played at 1 p.m. on Sunday.
“Our team has a lot of talent, but bringing a strong work ethic to the table will be what makes the difference for us this weekend,” Rector said. “We need to get all three lines rolling and if we can get input from everyone then we should be able to win this tournament.”