The Sarnia Sting Minor Peewee MD team captured the championship at the Burlington Challenge Cup over the weekend going undefeated through five games. Congratulations to the Sting players for a hard fought tournament victory over the weekend.
The first game of the tournament for the Sting was a strong test against the TNT Tornados from Alliston, Ontario. The Sting started the game strong against a gritty Tornados team. The Sting did all their scoring in the first period. The first goal of the game was an unassisted goal by Spencer Baillie. The second goal was from the stick of Brock Barber which was assisted by Collin Zimmer and Kaleb Zeytinoglu. The third goal was a point shot from Damon Skinn-Wai which was assisted by Collin Zimmer.
The Tornados scored one goal in the first and the period ended in a 3-1 lead for the Sting who seemed to have control of the game. Unfortunately, the Sting players decided that they needed to check the door of the penalty box to determine it’s usability. The door worked fine, however the Sting decided to check it eight times which gave the Tornados some life. The Tornados threatened, however, the Sting managed to hold on for a 3-2 victory.
Game two of the tournament was against the Oakville Blades who were swarmed by a Sting team that had found their rhythm and put on an impressive display of puck control throughout the game. The Sting used tick-tack-toe passing and used an effective attack which was quarterbacked by the Sting defenceman who were an effective part of the Sting offense. The Oakville goaltender was overwhelmed and will likely having nightmares about killer bees for weeks to come. The Sting fired 48 shots at the Oakville net scoring six times en route to a shut out victory.
Cole Goossens fired the first two goals of the game. Both were top shelf lasers which cleanly beat the goaltender. The first was unassisted and the second was a short-handed goal which drew helpers form Aidan Clark and Hayden Griffin. Sniper Brock Barber then followed with the next three goals of the game. The goals were assisted by Josh D’ Angela, Kaz Gudelis (with two), Ian Bailey ,Collin Zimmer and Tyler Talbot-Ellis. Evan Trigatti rounded out the scoring for the game drawing an assist from Kaleb Zeytinoglu and Kaz Gudelis.
Game three on Saturday morning was the final game of “pool play” against the Hamilton Cyclones. The Sting came out slow, as the first period ended with the Sting down 1-0. The Sting began cranking up the intensity as they answered back with four goals in the second period. The first came unassisted by Cole Goossens. The second featured a return to the scoresheet for Andrew Czyczurko who scored in his first game back from a suspension. The goal was assisted by Spencer Baillie. The “Honey Badger”, Tyler Talbot-Ellis then scored which drew assists from Ian Bailey and Evan Trigatti. Kaleb Zeytinoglu then scored the final goal of the period which was assisted by Talbot Ellis and Trigatti.
The third period saw the Sting and Cyclones trade goals but the Sting had the game well in hand at this point. Josh D’Angela and Collin Zimmer added goals which drew assists from Kaz Gudelis and Ian Bailey. Kudos this game goes to defenseman Damon Skinn-Wai for protecting his goaltender when he was slashed after the whistle in the second period.
For winning their pool, the Sting earned a berth in Saturday afternoons semi-final game against the second place in the opposite pool, the host Burlington Bulldogs. Unfortunately, for the Sting players, the number of games played, hotel legs, and eating restaurant food, all weekend, caught up to them. The Sting came out tired and lethargic against a Burlington team that was ready to play.
The Bulldogs struck first, however, Spencer Baillie answered back quickly with an unassisted goal. Kaleb Zeytinoglu then put the Sting ahead to end the second period. Cole Goossens drew an assist on the goal. The Bulldogs continued to keep the pressure on a tired Sting team which seemed to be fading as the game carried on. The Bulldogs scored the lone goal of the second period sending the game tied into the third period. Fortunately, one player on the Sting was rested and up to the task. Goaltender Stevie Schaefer, took the tired Sting team on his shoulders and carried them through the rest of the game. Schaefer played outstanding hockey, which allowed the Sting team to recapture the lead in the third. Brock Barber scored the lone Sting goal of the third period which was assisted by Talbot-Ellis. The Sting struggled to hold their lead as Schaefer stood on his head defending the Sting net. With four minutes to play the Bulldogs countered back sending the game into an overtime period.
The overtime was a five minute period which started with four players on each side. Each minute, the number of players was reduced by one. Coach Schaefer, planned his attack perfectly as the first four players drove a minute off the clock. Coach Schaefer then sent out his three offensive captains, Cole Goossens, Spencer Baillie and Tyler Talbot-Ellis for the second minute. Once this group corralled the puck it spelled danger for the Bulldogs. Spencer Baillie, like a man possessed, managed to spring himself loose and go one-on-one with the Bulldog goalie. Baillie made a beautiful move on the goalie scoring to muzzle the Bulldogs for good.
The Sting and their parents breathed a collective sigh of relief and looked forward to some rest before Sunday’ Final game which would be a rematch with the TNT Tornados. Cole Goossens was awarded the semi-final MVP which was chosen by the opposing coaches.
The Sting came out rested and pumped up for their final game on Sunday afternoon. The first period of the game was a good one for the Sting as they pressured the Tornados . However, their pressure wasn’t rewarded until the second period. Spencer Baillie scored two goals for the Sting giving them a 2 - 0 lead. Collin Zimmer assisted on the first goal while Greg Ross helped with the second.
The Sting ran into penalty troubles as several times the Sting were forced to kill 5 on 3 man advantages. The Sting defense were up for the challenge as they killed off each one in a workmanlike fashion. Excellent play by defensemen Greg Ross, Damon Skinn-Wai, Aidan Clark, Hayden Griffin, Mathew Waun and Kaz Gudelis aided a great deal in killing all the penalties. The defensemen were able to control the puck over and over sending it down the ice to kill the clock. Kaleb Zeytinoglu should also be given a great deal of credit as he was called on several times, specifically in the 5 on 3 disadvantages, to kill penalties, which he did effectively.
Also of great assistance, in the second and third period, was goaltender Cam Stevens. Stevens turned in a masterpiece, in net, repeatedly turning away the Tornados attackers. Stevens should be especially credited for his rebound control which diverted the puck out of the danger zone for the defense to handle. Stevens earned a well deserved shut-out in his best outing of the year.
The Sting held on for a 2-0 victory capturing the tournament championship. Congratulations to Spencer Baillie who was chosen as the finals MVP by the opposing teams coaches.