The Major Peewees opened their Nations Cup tournament against Team Illinois a team they had very little knowledge of, other than the fact that they were ranked 16th in the US. But the team would soon learn about their abilities.
Team Illinois would jump out to take the early lead which was a bit of a shock to the team. The period continued with Team Illinois using their speed to their advantage, two things that usually this team has the upper hand in. No more goals were scored in this period.
In the second period Team Illinois were able to score 3 goals, one of which was on the power play. Their quickness and great passing, coupled with the fact that Lambton was missing 3 forwards was becoming a determining factor to the outcome of this game.
In the third period Team Illinois were able to score 2 more goals to make the final 6-0.
After a rather flat effort Friday morning against Team Illinois, the Sting were anxious to get back on the ice later in the afternoon to take on the Cleveland Barons. Lambton would have a much better start in this game maintaining much of the early pressure in the Cleveland zone. Theo Crombeen would get the Sting on the board banging in a loose puck and shortly after, Gage Langford would strip a Cleveland defender of the puck and skate in alone and bury a wrist shot to the corner to give the Sting a 2-0 lead. Cleveland would try to put some pressure on the Sting but Jacob Knowles would stand tall in the Lambton net, turning away a number of shots thrown at the Sting goal.
The Sting would extend their lead to 3-0 in the 2nd period with a goal from Dante Fuoco on a nice feed from Lucas Knowles. In the 3rd period, Josh Vale would knock home a loose puck in front of the Cleveland net and Lucas Knowles would make the lead 5-0 on a nice pass from Joey Ferrera. Cleveland would score a late goal to break the shutout, but the Sting would skate away with the win by a final score of 5-1.
On Saturday morning, the Sting knew they would be in for a tough game with Little Caesars, the 5th ranked team in the U.S. Little Caesars would get some early chances to score in this game, but Josh Bayne would make a couple great saves to keep the game scoreless. Little Caesars would eventually take a 1-0 lead towards the end of the first period on a rocket from the point. At this point, the Sting started to get into penalty trouble and Little Caesars would score again to take a 2-0 lead into the 2nd period. The penalty trouble would continue in the 2nd period and Caesars would score another power play goal to take a 3-0 lead. Lambton would finally get on the score sheet on the power play, as Tristan Haagsma would pinch in from the point and find an open Lucas Knowles, who would bury a hard wrist shot to narrow the lead to 3-1.
In the 3rd period, the parade to the penalty box would continue for the Sting, who would get to practice their penalty killing against a very skilled team. Caesars would score 1 more goal and win by a final score of 4-1, not a bad effort against a very good team.
The fourth and final game of round robin play had the Lambton Jr Sting facing the undefeated Boston Jr Terriers. The Terriers would carry the early play but were stymied by the stellar play in net of Jakob Knowles. As the period wore on, the Sting were able to find their skating legs and a wide open up tempo game was the result. The entertaining first ended scoreless.
The second opened with more of the same up tempo play as both teams wanted to take the lead in this very close game. Again Jakob Knowles rose to the challenge making key saves as the Terriers were sniffing around his crease for loose pucks. The tense moments in the Sting zone were relieved when Curtis Marks, on a 2 on 1 with Lucas Knowles, took the pass and rang it in off the top right hand post. 1-0 Sting. The second half of the period had the teams trading power plays. The penalty kill units of both squads were able to hold and keep it a 1 goal game heading into the third.
A power play in the third for the Sting provided the game winning goal as Josh Vale fed Lucas Knowles the puck. He made no mistake and lit the lamp to give the Sting a 2 0 lead. The Terriers were finally able to beat the screened Sting goaler late in the period but that was as close as they got. The Sting won 2 1 and sent the Terriers to the pound.
On the final day of the Nations Cup Tournament and looking good in their Team Canada colours, the Lambton Jr Sting Major Peewee AAA squad were staring across the ice at the Philadelphia Jr Flyers. The Sting had the distinct advantage in play but were unable to beat the Philly net minder as shots either hit him or went wide and or high. It was shaping up to be a game where a lucky Philly goal may change the entire outcome. The first ended in a 0 0 draw.
The second started with Philly having a bit more jump than in the first as they no doubt were encouraged to still be tied. The Lambton boys however, would have none of this and soon regained the lead as all 14 skaters combined over several shifts to regain momentum. The cumulative good shifts put the Flyers back on their heels and they surrendered a goal to Dante Fuoco who knocked in the centering pass from Cameron Adam with the second assist to Josh Vale. On a nice read, Brett Allardyce stepped up and intercepted a cross ice pass. He flew into the offensive zone and wired a shot that the Philly goaler just tipped wide with his outstretched trapper. A rare Philly chance was snuffed out by a hard charging Lucas Knowles who caught up to and stripped the puck from the Philly forward. At the half way mark of the second, Jakob Knowles came on in relief of Josh Bayne so that both goalers would see action in this Canada vs USA final. The remainder of the period had the Philly goaler frustrating the Sting offense as he denied their efforts time and time again. That is until Theo Crombeen beat him with 1.3 seconds on the clock. 2 0 Canada
The third opened with more good pressure and two way skating by all the Sting players. Their speed and puck control game was proving to be too much for the Flyers. Brett Allardyce blasted an unassisted marker in from the point sending the Sting to a commanding 3 0 lead. Soon afterwards, Gage Langford with another blast from the point beat the Philly net minder for the fourth and final goal of the game. The Sting won this final game 4 0 and finished with a 3 and 2 record overall.
The boys played with a lot of grit this weekend and represented their country with integrity and professionalism. The coaching staff and I are very proud of the team and look forward to the upcoming stretch of 8 regular season games before the New Year. These games will be very important in determining our relative position for the playoffs.